Communities Working Towards Malaria Elimination in Botswana
Communities Working Towards Malaria Elimination in BotswanaIn order to attain Sustainable Development Goal 3, Humana People to People Botswana and the Ministry of Health and Wellness implemented a robust campaign in an effort to eliminate Malaria in Botswana. The project focused its actions in the Malaria endemic districts, which included the Okavango district, North East district and Bobirwa district. In those districts, HOPE Humana Malaria targeted the ‘hard to reach’ areas and also the mobile and migrant population with screening and testing at designated border crossings.
The project intensified proactive case detection, whereby everyone within the high-risk areas was tested regardless of showing any symptoms or signs of Malaria. In cases where someone tested positive for malaria, contact tracing was done by testing all the people in the adjacent households and around the index patients’ households as per Government of Botswana Malaria surveillance guidelines.
To ensure a well-mobilized and strengthened community, a community driven approach led by traditional leaders called “Communities Acting Together to Eliminate Malaria” (CATTEM). The districts included Okavango, Ngamiland, Chobe, Tutume, Bobirwa and Boteti, each having two chosen villages. The approach aimed at unleashing the communities’ potential in eliminating malaria through vector control activities at community level. Traditional leaders being the drivers of the whole approach together with other local leadership ensured sustainability of the model.
In the strategy, communities worked together using whatever resources they have to conduct vector control activities and eliminate malaria. On the other hand HOPE Humana conducted trainings for various stakeholders such as the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs), Council Secretaries, Honorable Councilors, Village Development Committees (VDCs), Headmen, Teachers, Trusts, Social Workers, the business community and many other stakeholders that make up the community to ensure sustainability of the efforts by the community.
Due to the demand and the effectiveness of the project, HOPE Humana Malaria extended its reach area to include even non-endemic districts where malariacases had been reported. Humana People to People Botswana contributed immensely in the elimination of malaria by implementing the test, treat and track malaria project by deploying the malaria basic teams and demand creation teams to stop the new malaria cases in the district.