We are so happy and we thank God for this project that counted us worthy.
– Malam Yakubu Maigari
The Karen Malam community in northern Nigeria sits on the border with the republic of Niger, a remote region with poor roads, no electricity and without a functioning health clinic. It is mostly desert but, in the rainy season, the mosquitoes come out in force giving this area one of the highest rates of malaria in the nation.
The logistical challenges of reaching the roughly 2,000 households of Karen Malam also means the community was left out of a mass bed net distribution campaign in 2014. The residents didn’t mind. They didn’t even know that sleeping under bed nets could dramatically reduce the number of cases of malaria.
Enter CCP’s Health Communication Capacity Collaborative. For five months in 2015, community volunteers funded by the President’s Malaria Initiative went from house to house and held community dialogues to educate the residents of Karen Malam about bed net use and their high success rates in reducing malaria.
When Malam Yakubu Maigari, who heads the settlements that make up Karen Malam, learned about the life-saving benefits of bed nets, he knew his community needed to have them. He and other leaders took up a collection, raising 50,000 naira (about $139 U.S. dollars) to purchase 500 bed nets.
A year and a half after receiving their bed nets, the community is thriving. Not only was there a significant reduction in the number of malaria cases in Karen Malam, there has not been a single malaria-related death there since the bed nets arrived, according to Maigari.
“We are so happy and we thank God for this project that counted us worthy,” Maigari says.
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