More Home Visits for Malaria Evaluation

August 31st, 2015 by | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Today, Alfred, a member of Special Needs Entrepreneur Group (SNEG), graciously met me and Veronica, one of my work partners, at his work place in town center and accompanied us to his home which is located on the outskirts of Bamenda. When we arrived at his home, he first showed his father’s living quarter.

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Alfred’s father in his compound by his bed

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Alfred and his father

While Alfred has a mobility disability in his left leg caused by Quinnimax injection, his father also has a disability. His father was a police officer for 27 years. Then about five years ago, he fell and injured his right hip. He was not able to visit a health center to treat his hip. He was forced to retire from his job. He is always in pain and can’t move well, especially on the right side of his leg. He stays in his home all day everyday. When he was working, he lived in the town center, but when he injured his hip, he had to move into his son’s compound so that he could be looked after. In his living quarter, the floors were not finished, and so, it was just mud. While he does have a bed, he has no mosquito net. However, officials from a health center did stop by his home about three months ago and did note that he needed a mosquito net. They told him that they will be back with a mosquito net for him.

Alfred then showed me his living quarter which is right next to his father’s. His living quarter was very different. The floors were finished and his home was fully furnished. His and his wife’s bedroom had a mosquito net but the sides of the net were folded into the top of the net. It was not knotted at all. This is a sign that they may sometimes sleep with the net down. He then showed me his children’s bedroom and the net was completely down which meant that the children do regularly sleep with the net. Yes, all three of his children sleep on one big bed. This is actually very common in Cameroon – children traditionally sleep on one bed rather than having their own individual bed.

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Alfred and his wife’s bedroom

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Alfred’s children’s bedroom

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After visiting Alfred’s home, I visited a home of another member of SNEG, Che, who lived nearby. Veronica and I met him at a business place and then, he took me to his home on a bike.  Che has arthritis which was diagnosed when he was 17 years old.  He has no job, which is why he joined SNEG so that he could get help in finding a job.  He lives in a very rural area where roads are not paved. While his home was generally clean and well maintained, he did not have a mosquito net. He told me that officials from a health center visited his home about three weeks ago and even showed me the official paper signed by the health center stating that he does need a mosquito net.

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Che shows his official document from the health center stating that he will receive a mosquito net.

He told me that even when they do bring him a mosquito net, he doesn’t think he will sleep with it because he feels too hot under the mosquito net. I tried to encourage him to at least sleep under it during the rainy season because the weather is so much cooler. I told him that it’s still important regardless to sleep under the net everyday year round because it takes a collaborative work for us to end malaria. I explained that if every single person slept under the net, we could eradicate malaria because mosquitos get malaria just simply by biting people who are sick with malaria.

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