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Battling malaria in Anam with help from Rotary: sharing mosquito nets in Ebenebe

22 Jul

The Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation is developing a comprehensive package of community-based health interventions in Anam. The malaria initiative is one of the first programs initiated by the Chife Foundation and is implemented in partnership with High Noon Rotary Club Colorado, USA. The goal of this particular campaign is to eradicate malaria in the region of Anam and is a prelude to the coming construction of the Anam Hospital, which will break ground in November after the rainy season.

The first distribution of the insecticide mosquito net was led this week by Mrs. Gesare Chife in Anam City and witnessed a high turnout. The women and children of Anam were excited to see Mrs Chife visiting their homes to share the bed nets with them. She also took time to educate the village women on how to use the mosquito nets to avoid effects to their skin, as well as using her training as a nurse to issue medical diagnosis to many of the children.

The team plans to distribute more than two thousand long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets this year in the immediate village, and hopes to expand with over 10,000 regionally. These high-quality bed nets are designed to be effective without further treatment and for up to five years.

In Zone 1 of Ebenebe village, nets have been distributed to each family; this means every person in the zone is able to sleep under a mosquito net each night. This represents a ratio of two nets per household. The next zone to receive distribution will be Umuoba-Anam Otu-ocha, where another 1,000 will be shared this month. The Chife Foundation will implement a follow-up assessment to verify the percentage of nets being regularly used. On-going education in the target villages is also planned, in an effort to significantly reduce the spread of malaria in Anam.  Treated nets were chosen from among many available methods as one of the more effective ways to prevent the spread of malaria, especially amidst the climate of drug resistance and misuse that is growing in West Africa.

The Anam community and Chife Foundation greatly appreciate support provided by the High Noon Rotary Club of Durango Colorado who’s partnership has made this programming possible.

 

 

World Malaria Day 2012: How we will eradicate Malaria in Anam

25 Apr

MAKING ANAM A MALARIA FREE CITY

World Malaria Day is organized by the World Health Organization to recognize global efforts to address malaria worldwide. In concert with international efforts, today the Anam community is proud to launch the ANAM MALARIA INITIATIVE, a campaign aimed at eradicating malaria in the region of Anam.  As the first step in a community health strategy, we plan to achieve this by focusing resources on pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and the elderly.  Set in the context of the sustainable new town development Anam City  we will apply a hybridized approach to all health care.   The health center is more than a hospital – and aims at fostering a completely healthy town or in the Igbo “onye orun di” through high quality livability, integration of traditional methods, and focus on environment and nutrition.

Watch the video above where Chife Foundation Fellows, Linus Ifeanyi Nnewke and Anthony Nnalue launch the program!

Stay tuned for updates from our World Malaria Day event Sunday April 29 at Ebenebe which will include local performances (theater, dance, music) and refreshments.  The program (which will distribute medications, treated nets, and vector control to Ebenebe families) is developed in partnership with the Anam Community, Chife Foundation, and High Noon Rotary Club.

More information about World Malaria Day can be found with the following organizations’ websites:

Roll Back Malaria

World Health Organization (WHO)

Malaria Consortium

Roll Back Malaria World Malaria Day 2009

Rotary Club grants funding to Anam Malaria Initiative

10 Jan

The Chife Foundation is excited to announce that the Anam Health Initiative is a recipient of International Funding from the Durango High Noon Rotary Club  for 2012.  The approved project is designed to combat malaria in Anam through targeted prevention and treatment approaches that are geared towards women and children in Anam.

The Malaria program will kick-off in early 2012 and be closely tied to an innovative data collection and tracking system.  Our goal will be to measure the impact of the program and Rotary contribution, as well as to develop a network of health in the community.The program will also be launched along with the construction of the new Health Clinic and Centre in Anam City.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Mrs. Gesare Chife (a registered nurse) will spearhead the project, and we plan to connect with other health organizations in the region, as well as the local Rotary chapter.

Former Chife Foundation Intern and Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Julia Strickler of Austin Texas will also be involved as a technical consultant with the Initiative.

Between 300 million to 500 million people worldwide are infected with malaria annually, and of those 900,000 cases are fatal. In 2008, The World Health Organization estimated that every 45 seconds a child dies of malaria in Africa.

Residents of Anam report having malaria between one and four times annually. Of these infections, only a fraction of cases are treated with simple, inexpensive and proven therapies, because accessing these medications is difficult or costly.  Insecticide-treated mosquito nets are a cheap and effective prevention method for the bite from the female Anopheles mosquito (the species that transmits malaria), yet few Anam residents sleep with a net. Local health surveys have indicated that children were the most vulnerable to the disease.

We will post updates on the program thorough the year.

Photo of the Chife Foundation implementing the health survey in Anam. This work lead to further research on Malaria prevention and treatment.

Photo of the Chife Foundation implementing the health survey in Anam. This work lead to further research on Malaria prevention and treatment.

The New Yam Festival: Nutrition and Importance for the Anam People [AUG 7]

7 Aug

Barthlomew Chukuemeka Okonkwo is a Chife Foundation Fellow who is currently studying medicine and surgery at Ebonyi State University in Nigeria. He has been assisting the Foundation interns this summer with community health surveys. Below he writes about the annual Anam New Yam Festival that will take place this weekend.

Anam Yam Trader

The new yam festival is a very significant cultural symbol of the Igbo society, and the Anam community is not an exception. Sunday, August 7th is the new yam festival of the Anam community and is characterized by various unique and heart-felt events: the official eating of the new yam for the first time of the new harvest and visits by in-laws, friends, colleagues, fans of Anam cultural heritage, and well-wishers from far and near. To this effect, everybody is looking forward to this year’s new yam festival of the Anam community and I myself am too.

The Other Side of the New Yam Festival:

Nutrition is an important aspect of living that can be indicated in the occasion of the new yam festival of the Anam community. During this period, chickens, goats, and cows are killed and used to make the native NSALA soup. This diet is rich in proteins and carbohydrates, which all Anam people eat joyously. The above mentioned nutrients are the basic composition of foods eaten all year-round by the Anam people such as expectant mothers, infants, nursing mothers, children, and the elderly. But this is not adequate nutrition for them because eating carbohydrates and proteins alone is not enough. Good nutrition for these sensitive groups should take into consideration their specific nutritional needs, and can be supplemented with minerals and vitamins found in the local tropical diversity of fruits and vegetables.

Emeka administering the health survey

It is my conjecture that fulling the nutritional needs of the special categories of people mentioned above (mothers, infants, children, elderly) is a viable tool for further stimulating growth and development of Anam people and their economy. For instance, good nutrition for young women develops strong expectant mothers that could go through the gestation period and deliver healthy babies without congenital malformations. Their babies will be more likely to be well-developed and able to develop, grow strong bodies and minds that can participate in Anam’s community as adults. This also prevents the delivery of underdeveloped infants and helps avoid a situation in which a family must spend their scarce resources and funds on their sick child instead of investing in their farms and educating their children. Better farms and well-educated youths will help create a thriving Anam community. Hence the Anam New City Healthcare Initiative we have been developing will be a welcome program as a pertinent tool to create viable African communities for self-sufficient African cities.

Post by: Barthlomew Chukuemeka Okonkwo

Meet the Fellows: Michael, Community Health Educator

13 Jul

Chife Foundation Fellow Nwakonuche Michael Obiakor

An established member of the community who previously attended Anambra State College of Health, with support from The Chife Foundation, Nwakonuche Michael Obiakor recently returned to school to pursue a degree in Health Education. A father of four, he says his motivation came from a desire to “save lives by helping people protect themselves against diseases.” He now devotes his weekends to attending classes, anticipating that this higher education will pay off in the future by helping him “plan for a better tomorrow and make maximum use of scarce resources.” He sees poverty, lack of access (especially with regards to long, inconvenient distances between various communities and the nearest health facility—made worse by the region’s poor road and transportation networks), and ignorance about orthodox medicine as the primary challenges for improving health care in Anam.

When asked how he thinks that Anam New City will change the community, he answers that “it will improve the living conditions [by providing] basic amenities, such as health institutions, adequate safe water, and electricity.” Michael has high hopes for the new clinic and health care program: “if health institutions, such as a clinic or hospital, are built and equipped with all the necessary health equipments and well-trained doctors and health personnel, I think Anam people will attend the hospital…and their health condition will be improved.” Michael’s medical background is already proving invaluable to the project—this summer, he is working with Dr. Julia Strickler and other interns to provide critical information on the status of existing health facilities in the region, which will be vital for designing Anam’s new health center.