Josephine Mupeta is a farmer and Community Health Volunteer (CHV) in the Serenje District in Zambia. She was trained through a Transaid health program to specifically recognize when someone is suffering from malaria. Her motivation is to help save lives in her community. One of the ways Josephine educates her neighbors about the danger signs of malaria is through a catchy song to help young mothers remember what to look for when an infant is sick.Malaria kills nearly half a million people annually. Kids under the age of five, are most susceptible, with 2/3 of those cases ending in death. 92% of malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is curable and preventable.
In 2017, Transaid, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), Disacare, Development Data, and DAI joined forces in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Center (NMEC) of Zambia and the District Health Management Team (DHMT), to develop new and innovative approaches to improve response to cases of severe malaria, focusing on those under the age of six.
Training volunteer health care workers to recognize the disease and administer rapid diagnostic tests were the first steps in saving lives. Next they began using artesunate suppositories for pre-referral treatment at the community level followed by immediate treatment at a health care facility.
Immediate treatment, meaning within 12 hours. Therefore, Transaid worked to strengthen the emergency transport system through the use of bicycle ambulances. CHVs could now transport patients quickly and carefully, sometimes over 10 miles, to the nearest health facility where they would be given artesunate through an injection, curing the patient of malaria.
The bicycle ambulance is the best thing that has happened to this community. I see people going about their daily lives in my community who otherwise wouldn't be alive todayJosephine Mupeta- Community Health Volunteer, Zambia
During this pilot program in Zambia known as MAMaZ Against Malaria, Transaid reports that malaria deaths dropped by 96% in children under six.This is just one of many examples of the great work being done by our partner Transaid. In 2015 Bikes for the World partnered with Transaid in Madagascar to help provide incentives through second hand bicycle enterprises (eBox) to CHVs who work long hours for no compensation. Retaining these highly trained volunteers became a priority within the health care initiative there.
Over the past two years we have seen this project improve and expand, with a new site being established with our next shipment heading out this month. To date we have donated 3,271 bikes to this program.