“Today I have a very healthy child” – The Lutheran malaria program in Angola

Jessica Nipp Hacker

"I want to thank the church malaria program who came to visit us here in the community," says this grateful mother in Angola, pictured here at the local health center with her children.

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The outreach strategy of the Lutheran malaria program in Angola is a community-based, grassroots effort. Activistas—community volunteers trained in malaria prevention and control through the Lutheran program—visit households in person to educate community members about malaria and to help identify health issues that may be affecting some members of the household. This door-to-door campaign has been the main form of community outreach for the Lutheran malaria program in Angola, and it is demonstrating success.

The Lutheran malaria program in Angola reports that in the first half of 2014, the door-to-door campaign reached 143 households in Angola. Through these visitations, a reported 1,287 household members learned how malaria is transmitted, how to recognize its symptoms and to seek medical treatment promptly. Activistas also identified five cases of suspected malaria, and were able to identify and educate about other health issues as well. Those with health issues were encouraged to visit the local health center for diagnosis and treatment.

Before she met the trained volunteers from the Lutheran malaria program, the woman pictured here was reluctant to take her child to the health center for treatment. "Two Activistas came to me telling me about the importance of visiting a health center," she explained. She did so, and her child was successfully treated for malaria.  

"As a result of the visit [from the Activistas]," she continues, "today my child does not have malaria. I have a very healthy child, with no malaria symptoms."