Fighting Malaria in Sierra Leone: One Small Grant at a Time
In May 2023, a small malaria grant from RAM-Global and MPI was awarded to Bo, Sierra Leone Rotary Club and the implementing partner, Rural Health Care Initiative (RHCI). This malaria project is also financially supported by the White Bear Lake, MN Rotary Club, the Bo Rotary Club and donors to RHCI.
The two primary components of the grant are:
- Training Community Health Workers (CHWs) and providing them with the resources to diagnose and treat children with malaria in remote rural villages.
- Providing transportation and staff to implement the government Insecticide Treated Net Campaign (ITN) distribution in Bo District.
Since September 1, 221 individuals (mostly children) with malaria symptoms have been evaluated and tested for malaria in 6 remote villages by the trained CHW’s, with 69% testing positive for malaria. All were treated with ACT (Artemisinin Combination Therapy) as out-patients. All received a follow-up visit by the CHW and were successfully treated and recovered in their home village. No hospitalizations or deaths occurred among people participating in this program. In contrast, in neighboring villages numerous hospitalizations occurred with children who contracted malaria.
Through the grant, RHCI supported the mass distribution of ITNs to all of the health posts in the Tikonko Chiefdom in Bo District of Sierra Leone. A total of 716 bundles or 35,800 ITNs were distributed to eleven health facilities and six sub-distribution points. Hired trucks, RHCI trucks and hired motorbikes supported the distribution efforts. Ninety-four percent of the ITN vouchers in the Tikonko Chiefdom were redeemed during the campaign.
RHCI is a nonprofit based in Minneapolis, MN, USA and a registered NGO in Sierra Leone since 2013. RHCI’s mission is to partner with rural communities to redevelop health care systems and to overcome one of the world’s highest maternal and child mortality rates.
More information on the grant activities and impact will be communicated over the coming months.
By Carol Nelson MD MPH, RAM-Global Education Committee Member
Member of White Bear Lake (Minnesota, USA) Rotary Club