AFRICA/DR CONGO - International Day against Malaria: It is also fought with education

Thursday, 19 April 2018 healthcare   poverty   development  


Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Congo continues to live in a particularly unstable climate, but despite this, most deaths are not caused by the violence of the ongoing conflict but rather by malnutrition and its consequences: malaria and food insecurity are a terrible combination that causes a real massacre, especially among children. Chronic malnutrition leads to a weakening of the immune system and therefore a major risk of being affected by endemic diseases, first of all malaria": on the occasion of the next International Day against Malaria, which is celebrated on April 25th, Agenzia Fides received the testimony of a student from the Institute of Nursing Sciences (ISSI) in Kinshasa who, thanks to a scholarship, was able to carry out a period of training at the Campus Bio Medico University of Rome.
The young woman tells Fides: "The area of Mont-Ngafula, where ISSI resides, is not affected by the violence at the moment, but we are ready to serve in any part of the country where needed. A nurse trained at ISSI quickly finds work because our professional and human preparation is incomparable". The health system lacks in equipment, drugs, but above all in staff training, necessary to improve the quality of care. The newly graduate adds that "patients cannot afford medical treatment. For malaria, for example, there are effective drugs; if it is treated in time with the right drug, complications are reduced but due to excessive costs proper treatments are not possible. Therefore, waiting to be able to count on available and low-cost medicines, on fast and free diagnostic tests, we nurses focus on education and therefore on prevention, keeping in mind that the person is at the center".
Part of the tasks of the ISSI staff is to carry out community sensitization activities, through social mobilization campaigns, targeted training sessions to spread awareness of the importance of habits to prevent malaria, so that every single family understands the importance of protecting themselves and their children and of timely access to health services at the onset of the first symptoms. "Every initiative aimed at the most vulnerable people always aims to raise awareness on the issues of hygiene and health because the task of a nurse is not limited to the assistance of the sick but extends to the care of the person", confirms Olga.
The project in favor of the Higher Institute of Nursing Sciences is supported by Harambee Africa International (see Fides 28/10/2008). The Democratic Republic of Congo represents, with over 24 million cases of malaria, the second country of the African continent for the spread and impact of the disease which is the main cause of maternal and child death. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 19/4/2018)