By Larry Granat, Malaria Partners International Ambassador
Malaria Partners International recently received and approved a small grant request to partner with the Rotary Club of Mbale Metropolitan, Uganda in order to provide a six month education and sensitization program for 3,150 market vendors in the three open-air markets in this small Eastern Uganda town.
Due to the fear of losing business should they leave their stalls during market hours, these entrepreneurs are reluctant to line up at local health centers to receive needed medical attention. As a result, market vendors, 70 percent of whom are women, frequently exhibit poor health, including malaria, forgoing necessary treatment and greatly increasing the chance of spreading communicable diseases.
The project’s coordinating third-party entity has designed a program to meet with each vendor on a weekly basis, check on their health, and provide education on why they and their young children should be sleeping under a bednet. And whereas the Ugandan Government has previously distributed a limited number of bednets, this project will provide more for the market vendors as appropriate.
This intervention will contribute towards greatly improved health for the market vendors by educating them about malaria causes, transmission, prevention and treatment.