sponsor a child

Visit the town that cut malaria child deaths to zero

Discover how Compassion is fighting malaria in Togo.


zero child deaths from malaria

How to stop a killer disease

Imagine a plague of tiny insects running wild in your community, biting children in their beds while they sleep. Imagine each bite poisoning their blood with deadly parasites. Imagine one child every 30 seconds dying of malaria.*

Then imagine stopping this killer disease.

In one community in West Africa, that’s what we’ve done.

In the town of Amlamé, about 100 miles outside of Togo’s capital, Lomé, 60 children a year were dying of malaria. Compassion projects worked hand-in-hand with medical staff to save children’s lives.

No child deaths from malaria were reported in Amlamé in 2016.

Malaria symptoms

Malaria is an eerie and dangerous disease. The parasites activate at the same time each day, causing children to writhe with fever, overheat to 40°C, vomit, have seizures and fall into delirious comas. If not treated quickly, a child will pass away.

But children with malaria don’t have to die. In hospital, malaria can be treated. Even better, malaria can be prevented. But in the absence of knowledge, malaria thrives.

malaria treatment

“I did a study on malaria in Amlamé, and I came to realise that people didn’t understand the disease,” explains Julien Tchakpana, the former principal health worker of the district hospital. “They thought they could fight the number-one killer of their children with local treatment. They didn’t even think about going to hospital when their children had seizures. Thus, many children died every year.”

The parents’ lack of medical knowledge was part of a bigger picture of poverty in Amlamé. Health consultations cost $1USD (80p), yet this was too much for farmers to afford. Meagre harvests and high shipping prices for their goods mean that when it comes to household budgets, farming families must prioritise food over health care.

So Compassion decided to open projects in Amlamé to relieve parents from their struggles and save children’s lives. Four hundred children were registered and parents were educated through monthly meetings.

Malaria treatment

Parents were taught the importance of rushing a child to hospital as soon as they showed symptoms of malaria. They learnt to use mosquito nets and maintain hygiene at home. Parents who were initially reluctant to let their children have medical check-ups came to realise that hospitals could save their children’s lives. A payment arrangement was set up so the parents don’t need to worry about consultation fees.


They don’t even think about potions or infusions anymore. It has become automatic that when a child is sick, he or she is brought to hospital immediately.

 


For Grace, the project has literally been a life-saver. She experienced malaria fevers and anemia twice a month. Her parents had spent a lot of money trying to save her and were about to give up when they heard about the medical check-ups on offer through the Compassion project.

Protected by malaria

Now, the doctors keep Grace under close observation and she is treated quickly whenever she displays malaria symptoms.

“If the project had not come to my rescue, my child would have been buried a long time ago,” says Yawa Abuga, Grace’s grandmother.

While child sponsorship provides for children's regular care and education, RESPOND Interventions exist to help in situations like this – where a child, family or project has a vital need that cannot be covered by sponsorship alone. Discover more ways RESPOND is helping whole communities.

Find out more


Source: UNICEF: The Reality of Malaria



WORDS : Compassion UK, Bernard Gbagba

PHOTOS : Bernard Gbagba


Article Comments

ARTICLE COMMENTS

Leave a comment

Leave A Comment

Leave A Comment

MORE STORIES FOR YOU

12Dec

How you can pray for the political crisis in Togo

Please join us in praying for peace, stability and justice for Togo during a time of political uncertainty.


,

28Nov

Update: Heavy rains batter Sri Lanka

Heavy north-east monsoon rains affecting Compassion Church partners in Sri Lanka


, , , ,

28Nov

29 good news stories on the 29th World Aids Day

To mark the 29th World Aids Day, we share 29 signs of hope that the goal for an AIDS-free world by 2030 is achievable.


23Nov

900 evacuated after flooding in Ethiopia

Metehara Town in central Ethiopia was flooded when the Awash River overflowed


23Nov

Honduras under high alert

Heavy rains have kept some parts of Honduras under high alert.


, , , ,

30Oct

Conjunctivitis outbreak in Honduras

An outbreak of severe conjunctivitis has been reported across several regions in Honduras.


21Sep

The future firefighter

The orphan who refuses to give up in the face of tragedy.


21Aug

Update: Flooding in southern Togo

Several days of heavy rains has caused flooding in the southern part of Togo late last week, destroying the homes of 27 Compassion sponsored children.


, , , ,

21Aug

In photos: 6 teen entrepreneurs lifting their parents out of poverty

Meet the teenagers changing their families’ futures.


17Aug

Update: Hurricane Franklin hits Mexico

Heavy rains have damaged homes, blocked roads and broken bridges in Veracruz.


15Aug

Update: Flooding in Ethiopia damaged several homes

After three consecutive days of heavy rain coupled with strong winds damaged the basements and roofs of several homes in Ethiopia.