Our names are Ryan Sandford and Andrew Abram, and we lead a team of coordinators who are determined to combat malaria in Rwanda through community based intervention, education and research—learning through our successes as well as our failures.
Resistance to insecticide is increasing among mosquitoes in certain malaria endemic regions, but a strategy rolling out in Rwanda this year, is approaching the problem from a different angle.
Last Wednesday, PCV and STOMP Regional Malaria Coordinator Niesha rolled out a new malaria prevention program with a community group of 40 mothers at her health center, working alongside her community health worker supervisor.
STOMP’s first biannual meeting of the year included a lively discussion on behavior change, best practices ideas and tutorials, basic biology sessions on malaria and mosquito life cycles, as well as a look at ways we can be innovative to work alongside the MOH to reduce malaria morbidity around the country.
You are standing at the bus stop, when you look over and see a dimly lit figure walking on a tightrope 10 feet above the ground between two small boutiques, and another walking on a broad log 40 feet above the ground between two tall trees. You are shocked. You wonder, “Who is at greater risk?” Read to the end, to see the solution to this perplexing conundrum.
Working in malaria prevention, one of the most challenging barriers to change is the widespread belief that malaria is normal and an integral part of everyday life in Rwanda. This perception is understandable given that the persistent burden of malaria has always been present and intertwined in Rwanda’s culture.