In 2016 trained ChildFund Zambia staff and volunteers began educating families about the symptoms of malaria and running tests to help save lives. Before then many families in the community were unaware of the disease, which kills 1,200 children worldwide a day or about 50 children every hour.
“We didn’t know we were suffering from malaria,” Gertrude says. “The entire family was always complaining from sickness: one family member would be shivering; another would be vomiting. We would just get painkillers.
“We thought we were bewitched.
“It was only when we were tested and educated by a ChildFund volunteer that we learnt about malaria.”
It took Fenny up to a month to recover when she got malaria; each time she got sick she would fall further behind in her schoolwork.
“I didn’t feel well missing school because when I went back everyone else was ahead of me,” she says.
How ChildFund sponsors help children and their families stay safe from malaria:
- Educating children and their families about how to recognise the symptoms of malaria
- Testing children and their families for malaria and providing referrals to treatment
- Providing families with insecticide-treated mosquito nets
- Educating families about how to keep their homes and surroundings clean, such as clearing pools of stagnant water