London, 22 November: Malaria Consortium Mozambique has been working with DFID and the public sector to distribute long lasting insecticidal nets through ante-natal services.The aim is to distribute over 400,000 bed nets to women who wouldn't otherwise be receiving protection during their pregnancy.
Malaria Consortium Mozambique has been working with DFID and the public sector to distribute long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) through ante-natal services.The aim is to distribute over 400,000 bed nets to women who wouldn't otherwise be receiving protection during their pregnancy.
Minakumary Pratasinh, the nurse in charge of the programme in the Rapale Health Centre says more and more women are coming in during their first term of pregnancy to receive a free LLIN. “Some pregnant women walk 50 kilometres to get to the health centre because they have heard about the net distribution. Before the net distribution it was difficult to entice pregnant women living far away to come to the health centre in their first term of pregnancy. Now when I visit the homes, I always find the nets there.”
However, she adds that in a few cases some women have put the net away saying, “They are waiting to use it when the baby is born. We explain again that they must use it while pregnant as well.”
Twenty-year old Paulina has learnt about the importance of using a LLINs during pregnancy; she has had two miscarriages while sick with malaria and her seven month old daughter, Belinda, has been sick for two months. “She has been sick for two months with diarrhoea, fevers and now she has malaria too,” says Paulina.
Since being admitted to the rural health centre in the Rapale district, there is hope that Belinda will not be one of the child mortality statistics in Mozambique where malaria accounts for 30% of all child hospital deaths under the age of five years.
The free nets have resulted in 20 percent increase in the number of pregnant women coming for check ups. Paulina knows the importance of using the LLIN. “The net protects you and your children against malaria. I bought a net after my first child died of malaria, but after a few years, it became old and torn. I didn’t have money to buy a new one,” she says, not taking her eyes off Belinda.
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