Fighting against malaria in Diaba

on 23 March 2021
Last Updated: 03 May 2022

The following story shows how the real fight against malaria takes place village-by-village in Diaba, Senegal.

The Podor district of Senegal – a remote region in the north-central area of the country – has one of the most severe malaria problems in the country.

In the hot, dusty village of Diaba in Podor, malaria is an ever-present problem, especially during the rainy season. A car rolls into the village and children dash to meet it. They know this car – it is carrying a person very familiar to them. Oumoul Khary Sow, a willowy 20-year-old from Dakar, emerges.

The children gather around her while her father and sisters unload piles of plastic-wrapped insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Oumoul brings insecticide-treated nets and educational messages about malaria prevention to the people of Diaba The Sow family are volunteers who work with the Senegalese Government. They help to promote malaria control throughout this remote region, and have come to Diaba to hand out nets for families, in particular for use by pregnant women and young children. But nets are not their only gift to the village.

Over the past three years, Oumoul and her family have devoted themselves to educating the villagers about preventing and treating malaria. “When we started out, people here were resigned to having malaria – to dying from malaria,” she says. “They thought it was something they just had to accept. Now they know how to fight it – by sleeping under insecticide-treated nets and seeking medical care at the dispensary when they have a fever.”

Tonight at a village meeting, the villagers will sing, dance, thank Oumoul for her help, and encourage each other to keep up the fight against malaria.


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