Village families face many health risks and diseases every day. One in five children does not live past his or her fifth birthday because of preventative disease such as dysentery, measles and malaria. Disease prevention is key to enhancing the quality of life. The Alliance works with the villagers to achieve their goals in sanitation and disease prevention. Projects include mosquito netting, immunizations, hand-washing buckets, latrines, drinking wells and access to clean water.
The populations at highest risk for malaria are children under the age of five and adults older than 50. Mosquito nets prove to be the best antidote for malaria prevention so the Alliance subsidizes the cost of the nets by selling them to villagers for $1 USD. Data strongly suggests that families do not have a proper understanding of the causes of malaria, so the Alliance includes health training with every net distributed. A family of four can sleep under one net for up to 3 years—protecting them from Africa’s most life-threatening disease.
This year the Alliance plans to distribute 1,500 mosquito nets, which will protect up to 6,000 people. Our 25 Health Agents will provide training on proper usage of the nets and disease prevention.
The Alliance has a long-standing relationship with the government of Mali to provide vaccinations in villages in- and -around the Ouelessebougou commune. While the Malian government has the means to provide the vaccinations, they are unable to distribute them to villagers in rural communities. The Alliance provides vaccinations for infants and children under the ages of 5 for the following 9 life-threatening diseases: polio, yellow fever, measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, hepatitis A, the flu and tetanus. Expecting mothers are also immunized. Because of our vaccination programs, thousands of lives have been saved. Infant mortality has decreased and children are living with a higher quality of life.
The Alliance’s goal is for 95% of village children ages 0 – 5 to be fully vaccinated. Between October 2018 – May 2019, our vaccination program will reach over 5,500 children and pregnant women in the Ouelessebougou region.
Proper sanitation is critical in the prevention of disease especially with children. The Alliance provides hand-washing buckets for each of its 12 partner primary schools. The Education Council and teachers are responsible for maintenance and training the students on usage. These buckets, along with use of the school latrines, have made a significant difference in preventing the spread of disease. Less students are missing school due to illness and are able to enjoy a greater quality of life.
The schools’ handwashing buckets are old and in need of replacing. This year the Alliance will purchase and distribute new buckets to our 12 village schools which will benefit over 2,200 students.