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Cote d’Ivoire health workers bike to combat malaria in villages

Cote d’Ivoire health workers bike to combat malaria in villages
community health workers in Cote d’Ivoire are tackling malaria by cycling between remote villages to treat children and educate families,   -  
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Ivory Coast

Community health workers in Cote d’Ivoire, armed with bicycles and medical supplies, are making significant strides in the fight against malaria. By traveling between remote villages, they've managed to reduce malaria cases by up to 70% in some areas this year.

As the global progress against malaria slows down, the World Health Organization is using World Malaria Day 2024 to reignite efforts against the disease, which claims around half a million children annually.

Sub-Saharan Africa bears the brunt of malaria cases and deaths, with children under five being the most affected, accounting for about 80% of malaria-related deaths in the region.

In Cote d’Ivoire, a country endemic to malaria and among the top 10 globally for malaria cases, efforts to combat the disease are crucial. In 2022 alone, the country accounted for 3% of all malaria cases worldwide.

A team of approximately 8,300 community health workers, supported by organizations like Save the Children, is leading the charge. François Kouadio, one of these health workers, provides essential care and treatment to children and pregnant women in his village.

Thanks to François and others like him, families like Prisca's have access to timely diagnosis and treatment for malaria. Having a health worker in the village ensures quick intervention, saving lives like that of Prisca's daughter, Charlene.

Equipped with bikes, François and his colleagues can reach up to eight families a day, offering treatment, raising awareness about malaria prevention, and providing much-needed comfort to their communities.

Thanks to initiatives like these and increased awareness, malaria cases have significantly dropped in recent years in Cote d’Ivoire. François emphasizes the importance of community health workers in bridging the gap in healthcare access.

Alongside community efforts, radio stations broadcast messages on malaria prevention and treatment, contributing to the overall goal of reducing malaria incidence and mortality by 75% by 2025 compared to 2015.

Save the Children, operating in Cote d’Ivoire since 1991, collaborates with other organizations to implement malaria projects across the country, ensuring children have access to vital healthcare services. Dr. Yssouf Ouattara underscores the life-saving impact of community health projects in the fight against malaria.

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