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With over 28 million Kenyans being at risk of Malaria, the Kenyan NGO Alliance Against Malaria has taken the fight to the communities door step.

The Kenya NGO Alliance Against Malaria (KeNAAM) has trickled down national malaria interventions to the village level, through the successful implementation of the Global Fund Malaria Round 1, which it received in 2013.

The aim of this funding was to ensure that at least 80 percent of people living in malaria prone counties were equipped with knowledge on prevention and treatment of malaria.

Concentrating efforts to Kuria East and West in Migori County, KeNAAM strove to achieve this by strengthening advocacy, communication and social mobilisation capacities for malaria control. Increasing community members knowledge on prevention and treatment of malaria involves utilising various techniques to get the message across and to get people aware and responsive to the ongoing threat of malaria in the high risk areas.

The greatest source of information on malaria for community members is gathered from the CHWs, hence vital that they acquire relevant and up to date information on diagnosis, prevention and treatment of this disease. To this end, KeNAAM oversaw the training of 120 Community Health Workers (CHWs) on Community Health Strategies and another 240 on Malaria Case Management.

Some ways in which KeNAAM used to promote education include; facilitating supervision of peer-to-peer on job mentorship by arranging exchange visits between newly formed Community Health Teams, with those that were more established. The Health Management teams also supported the capacity development of the CHWs.

Community dialogues and field days were conducted to engage the residents in barazas (forums) where they discussed malaria related issues. These discussions were guided by the indicators outlined in the Ministry of Health tool, also know as the “chalkboard”. KeNAAM supported 17 community health units to organise these events, where the discussions were facilitated by the CHWs, who ensured that focus was maintained on malaria. The community members brainstormed on the problematic areas in addressing malaria and proposed workable solutions to deal with the identified challenges.

During the subsequent Health and Action Days, the communities would review the previous problems raised and assess how well the measures they had proposed worked in order to inform future strategies.

KeNAAM also supported the Divisional Health Days which brought together different stakeholders with a view of increasing awareness on the importance of immunization and to integrate malaria in other health interventions.

In collaboration with the communities, KeNAAM helped organize three medial camps where a total of 875 community members were tested for HIV and malaria. The Community Health Workers demonstrated to the participants how easy it is to be tested for these conditions. During the medical camps, KeNAAM was able to introduce the rapid testing for malaria which increased their acceptance of this tool during household visits.

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