Another rainy week has passed here in Kenya. I tell my friends back home that the rains in Kenya remind me of the monsoon scenes in Jumanji, all kinds of new life come out to greet you. With the rain though comes Malaria season. This year our district was chosen to host the annual World Malaria Day celebration in Lunga Lunga and GVI was invited to go. The surrounding area has a 40 percent infection rate, far surpassing other regions in Kenya and a crucial place to increase investment in prevention.
The event was nothing short of amazing. We left early in the morning on a bus with all the local health group members and arrived just as the rains stopped for the day. To begin the celebration, local community groups took turns performing poems, skits and songs about Malaria prevention. The members of Rise and Shine, the local group we work with, had spent all week rehearsing their funny skit about the importance of nets for pregnant women. After the entertainment came speeches from politicians and representatives from a wide range of groups like the WHO, the UN, USAID and even the Minister of Health. Everything was in Swahili but the message was clear, sustainable investment in preventative initiatives has to be the focus. The event ended with the launch of the net distribution initiative. Every person in need has been registered in the nearby villages to receive two nets per household. Over the next week stations will be set up in different villages to continue the distribution. All in all it was a great day spent with some really motivated people!
Christina Kennedy Community Field Staff