Bridging the gap: fighting malaria in Cameroon’s Displaced communities
Ms. Calista is an internally displaced person residing in Mile 1, a community within the Kumba Health District in the South West Region of Cameroon. She is the mother of an under-five year child who has been a beneficiary of free treatment for severe malaria through the health voucher system of the Breaking Barriers project to increase access to malaria services.
According to Calista she had always been using traditional remedies like herbs whenever she or her children develop fever because of the lack of money to access treatment in the hospital.
Calista attended one of the monthly Community Health Participatory Approach (CoHPA) meetings, another intervention implemented by the project to raise community knowledge and practices towards malaria prevention. It was during this community dialogue that she learnt about the free treatment provided to under-five years children diagnosed with severe malaria.
“I want to thank Reach Out NGO and her partners for this good work they are doing in our community because if it were not for the project, I don’t know what I would have done to treat my child.”
When her child developed fever, Calista took the baby to the Community Health Worker who consulted her and later referred them to the health facility. Health facilities have been contracted by project to provide free treatment for children presenting with severe malaria. Calista transported her child to the hospital and was later refunded the cost of the transport thanks to the transport voucher provided by the project to facilitate malaria cases referred by the Community Health Workers.
“I went to the health center and immediately the nurse received the child from me and started working on her. I was well attended to and after the treatment, I was refunded the transport because I initially borrowed the money from my neighbor to take the child to the health facility”.
The child is healthy, and Calista has returned to her daily routines.
Reach Out on Frontlines of fighting malaria in conflict-affected communities
Reach Out and her partners (Malaria Consortium and KASAFRO) are on the frontlines in 80 communities working with civil societies and health administrators to break barriers in accessing malaria treatment and care. By engaging the local population through monthly community dialogues, community knowledge, practices and health seeking behaviors are changing coupled with provision of free treatment through the health voucher system to encourage timely access to care.
Written by the Breaking Barriers Project Team.