DII fight against Malaria
Development Initiatives International (DII) is implementing HIV/AIDS prevention programs in the informal sector specifically market communities. After conducting a situation analysis in St. Balikuddembe market, it was realized that malaria is a great challenge to women in the market. Women reported frequent episodes of malaria attack of about once in a month and further explained that one single malaria attack would mean being absent from work for at least four days – causing a great loss to their earning.
Yet, the direct cost of treatment including testing and drugs is prohibitive. Malaria is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Uganda. Malaria is highly endemic in most parts of Uganda with 63% of the population of 26.9 million (2005) exposed to high and 25% to moderate malaria transmission levels while 12% live in areas with low or unstable transmission which are epidemic prone. The burden of malaria is still high with estimated 70-100,000 deaths per year among children under 5 years of age and between 10 and 12 million clinical cases treated in the public health system alone. (GOU, Malaria control strategy 2005/6-2009/10).
The high burden of disease due to these conditions continues to undermine efforts and investments made for social and economic development. DII implemented malaria prevention and control programs in line with the overall objectives as they were spelt out in the Uganda Malaria Control Strategy. The overall objectives for the National Malaria Control Strategy 2005/06-2009/10 were; To go to national scale with a package of effective and appropriate interventions to promote positive behavior change and to prevent and treat malaria To rapidly achieve and sustain high coverage levels for this intervention package
Malaria is an opportunistic infection among the PLWAs that requires extra intervention especially in the area of treatment. Currently all efforts have been driven to prevention and there is no clinic within the market to attend to those suffering from it. This is still a challenge as we work towards promoting healthier and more productive market communities.
United Way (UWU), a volunteer led non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the well being of Ugandans through philanthropy and action, partnered with DII, by funding the Women Vendors Malaria Prevention Project (WOMAP) whose major outcome was “to develop the capacity of 80% of women vendors to prevent malaria transmission and manage malaria attacks”.
The project was implemented in Kampala’s four major markets that is Nakasero, Parkyard, Nakawa and St. Balikuddembe respectively.