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Malaria Prevention Campaigns Showcase Women as Leaders and Stewards of Health in their Communities 

Nabame Madi Louise is a mother of four children living in the Figuil Health District in the North of Cameroon. Her children, like many others in her community that are under 5 years of age, are at high risk of contracting malaria during the rainy season in the North.  

For the past four years, Mrs. Madi has worked among 16,000 community mobilizers and distributors in implementing Cameroon’s annual seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) campaigns. SMC campaigns are an effective measure in preventing malaria in children. These campaigns are rolled out by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and supported by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) through its flagship malaria service delivery project PMI Impact Malaria. 

Mrs. Madi explains her role in the campaigns: “My assignment is to visit the households, [count the number of] eligible children, and come back to administer the medicines as protection from malaria during the rainy season. Besides distributing medicines, I also raise awareness and sensitize visited households on adherence to the SMC treatment.”

By the end of the 2021 SMC campaign in October, thanks to the dedication and hard work of Mrs. Madi and many community mobilizers and distributors, over 1.9 million children under 5 years of age received preventive malaria medicine supported by PMI and PMI Impact Malaria. Mrs. Madi adds, "I really like working in SMC because it allows me to contribute to the health of the population of my village.” 

 

 

 

Nabame Madi Louise during her visits to the community to provide care during a seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign. Photo credit: IM Cameroon 

There’s an added benefit of her work with the SMC campaigns. Mrs. Madi explains: “SMC activities have also raised my profile in my community as parents rely on my advice for their children's health. The way others look at me has changed, starting with my husband and some more educated people than me. They come to me for advice.”  

According to members of her community, Mrs. Madi is one of the most respected SMC mobilizers and distributors, but she is the only female SMC worker in Bidzard, one of the health areas of Figuil Health District. Mrs. Madi knows the important leadership roles women can play in ensuring the health of their communities. Their involvement in SMC campaigns is a positive step in that direction. She adds, “Today, I am advocating that more women be involved in health activities because we are the ones who take care of our children. And this also helps to value us in the community.”  

PMI Impact Malaria is funded and technically assisted by the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and is led by Population Services International (PSI) in partnership with JhpiegoMedical Care Development International (MCDI), and UCSF.

 
Posted by Taylor Prochnow at 23:00
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