The Udalguri District has seen social unrest through most of 2008. The MFI commends the dedication of Dr. Pratibha Singh to continue educating children about malaria despite the challenges in the region.
The following photographs were taken by Dr. Singh at a recent meeting of the End Malaria - Blue Ribbon club, Sastrapara High School.
Blue Ribbon Club meeting
A Blue Ribbon Club member explains the malaria life cycle in school
Blue Ribbon Club - Sastrapara High School
Larva collection and demonstration
Members of the Blue Ribbon Club - Sastrapara reach out to their community
In September, the Adwr Blue Ribbon Club members distributed LLINS to 530 famililies in the Udalguri block. During the month of September, students from various schools are doing a survey for mosquitoe larva in the villages and learning how to identify larva and then destroy breeding sites. The End Malaria Blue Ribbon Club from Rajiv Gandhi High school Sapan gaon did a survey in their village. The students are preserving the larva to see the mosquitoes emerge.
Students have presented a poster on the life cycle of malaria in the local languages assamese and boro to all the schools for display and learning in the classes. Students and teachers from the village learned about malaria.
A lady recieves the LLN
BRC at Rajiv Gandhi High school proudly display their collected samples
Distribution of LLINs
Elina Adwr Staff demosntrates the mosquito larva from a sample
Students from BRC Rajiv Gandhi High school do larva collection
Health teaching in a school
Blue ribbon clubs contribute to help save lives.
Phulmati and her husband Sumila Daimari are daily wage labourers from the village of Budhbari near Paneri. They have two children, a six year old son Prasanjeet and three year old daughter Priyomoni.
In the second week of April Prasanjeet had fever, for one week he stayed at home and took home remedies. He did not get better so his parents took him to the hospital in Paneri. He was diagnosed with Plamodium Falciparum(Pf) malaria. He was given treatment but after one week did not improve so his mother got worried and took him to the project office at Harisinga. He was pale and had swelling all over his body, mild jaundice, and was losing consciousness. His Hemoglobin was 4.5 grams.
The project officers called the doctors at Baptist Christian Hospital Tezpur. Realizing the child was very sick and every hour was important, the doctors asked them to get an injection of artesunate at Harisinga because very hour is precious and then come to Tezpur.
The child came to Tezpur, very sick and his hemoglobin had fallen to 3.5gms. He was given medicines, admitted and administered two units of blood. He recovered and was discharged from the hospital after 5 days.
His treatment costs were paid for by the money raised from the ‘run for malaria’, held on the 10th of March at Rowta during the health mela. More than 150 students from 10 schools participated. They contributed 20 rupees each (about half a dollar) and about 10,000 rupees were collected. This money was raised to be used for helping for the treatment of small children with severe malaria.
Prasanjeet’s treatment expenses were:
TOTAL-6104 (Approx 175 dollars)
“Thank you students for helping save a precious life”
April 25, 2008. World Malaria Day Celebration in Assam
For World malaria day the ADWR/End Malaria Blue Ribbon Clubs organized cycle rallies with 10 schools across the block. The children carried messages on placards on their bicycles and went into villages spreading awareness. They also distributed the malaria brochures to the villagers.
Cycle rally on world malaria day
Cycle rally at Borigaon
As a run up to WMD 2008, we organized quiz competitions in schools and distributed prizes for the same. The children had a good time.
Children receive awards for the quiz on Malaria on world malaria day at Sastrapara High school
On March 10-12, 2008, a District Health Mela (Health Fair) was held at Rowta in the Udalguri district. Activities sponsored by Adwr included
The malaria song sung by school children
Run for Malaria- This event helped to raise resources for treatment of children with malaria. A registration fee of 20 rupees was collected to help cover the costs of malaria treatment available at the health center, students realized that they could also make a difference in the lives of other children. This was a short cross country race for boys and girls, more than 200 students from across the block participated and they were given prizes and certificates. The Additional district commisiioner flagged off the run and gave away the prizes.
The Malaria Souvenir called Upohaar(gift) was officialy released by the Additional District commisioner Mr. George Basumataryat the inaugural function of the health mela.
ADWR memebers conducted teaching on malaria in neighbouring schools and then asked the children to draw pictures.....and gave them little gifts to encourage them.
Poster competition after learning about malaria
February 23, 2008
India’s End Malaria - Blue Ribbon Clubs
Flourish and Celebrate First Year of Service
The Malaria Foundation International is pleased to report that its partners in Assam, India are celebrating one year of service as leaders of End Malaria – Blue Ribbon Clubs, which have been educating children and communities about malaria and reducing the prospects for illness, suffering and death caused by this disease.
In 2007 there was a severe epidemic of cerebral malaria in Udalguri district of Assam. On a fateful day a doctor at Baptist Christian Hospital Tezpur (A unit of Emmanuel hospital Association) remembers declaring seven children dead due to cerebral malaria in the emergency room.
The team at Tezpur decided something needed to be done, as most patients came into the hospital too late.
In February 2008 a Children Focused Malaria Control Program was started in Udalguri Block of Udalguri District in Assam. So that children need not die of a preventable and treatable disease.
The goal of the project is to empower children and their families to protect vulnerable children from communicable illnesses (malaria) and to help them to lead a healthy, safe and fulfilling life with dignity. The Project is called ADWR (pronounced adur) a word in boro which means to care and to nurture.
The project started with reaching out to 36 villages and 20 schools in the Udalguri Block. Subsequently, 5 additional villages were adopted, from which children with severe malaria sought treatment with the project. ADWR is now reaching out to more than 50 villages in the block covering a population of more than 30,000 and reaching out to more than 20,000 children.
The strategy of the project is two pronged, with the following progress reported:
- Children’s program: End Malaria - Blue Ribbon clubs in 20 schools in the Udalguri Block promote and educate about malaria. In the first year 20 clubs were established in 12 schools consisting of 368 members. These clubs were taught about malaria, in 9 workshops conducted during the year. Each club has adopted a neighboring village for awareness programs. The clubs conducted cleanliness drives, awareness programs, and health education in their schools and communities. Children also participated in a ‘Walk Against Malaria’ to raise awareness. 59 sessions of health teaching were conducted in 27 schools of the block. Six screening camps were held in schools and 572 students were screened and treated.
Community program: 22 End Malaria - Blue Ribbon clubs with 337 members in 29 villages were started. 2994 bed nets were impregnated by the team and volunteers from the community. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) was done in 1613 houses of 718 families and in 3 residential schools. 300 insecticide treated nets (ITNs) were distributed to families below the poverty line. Workshops were conducted for self help groups and community leaders on prevention and control of malaria. Through camps and active surveillance more than 6000 cases of fever were tested for malaria and more than 500 patients were diagnosed with and treated for malaria. 35 End Malaria - Blue Ribbon volunteers have been trained for early diagnosis, prompt treatment and referral of patients with malaria.
Ria does a Bihu Dance
The ADWR team trains the first End Malaria - Blue Ribbon volunteers at the Baptist Christian Hospital in Tezpur, India
The main objective of the training is to provide practical knowledge about malaria to community volunteers. During the training sessions, community leaders learn how to:
1. Recognize signs and symptoms of malaria
2. Provide early treatment
3. Identify complications and determine proper referral
4. Educate about malaria control methods
5. Transmit their knowledge to other members of their community
The first group of trainees consisted of eight volunteers from different village saround Tezpur. This was a three-day training conducted at the Baptist Christian Hospital (BCH) Tezpur. Dr Nidhi Naithani,M.D. conducted the training and Dr. Ashita Singh, physician at BCH, explained to the volunteers the importance of their commitment in the fight to End Malaria. Volunteers received basic education on malaria, learned to use rapid test kits and how to prepare diagnostic blood smears. According to Dr. Pratibha Sing, Director of Community Outreach, "we hope to train one volunteer for every village".
Training of village leaders at the BCH is very important because for most distant villages the only means of transportation is bicycle. The ride to the nearest hospital from any of these locations can take up to 4 hours. During the monsoons some villages are completely cut off because of flooded rivers. In such situations the best way to save lives is by community based management, including initiation of treatment to bring down parasite load. This early intervention will give patients a chance for recovery when they reach a hospital.
This is our endeavor and we hope that these volunteers will be able to do just that, this is also an effective way to make the malaria control and management program sustainable, affirms Dr. Singh.
Dr Nidhi Naithani,M.D. conducted the training Dr. Ashita Singh, physician at BCH
December 2007. Visit to the Sastrapara High School
Sastrapara high school, is a government-run school in the interior region of the Udalguri district close to the Bhutan border. Lots of students suffer from malaria every year and have to miss classes because of malaria.
Two blue ribbon clubs were started in the school earlier this year consisting of a total of 32 members. Teaching on malaria was provided by the ADWR team. The blue ribbon clubs in the school decided to start with a cleanliness drive in the school campus and the neighboring village to fight malaria. The headmaster and teachers of the school(see picture) also joined in the cleanliness drive against malaria.
They cleaned the excess vegetation and filled up ditches to remove sources of mosquitoes. Children from a neighboring primary school were taught the malaria song on a different occasion.
Headmaster of the school joins the fight against malaria
Students learning the malaria song
Village cleanup drive by members of the End Malaria Blue Ribbon Clubs at Sastrapara High School
THE MALARIA POEM
Recently, the ADWR- EMBR members asked students to write essays, poems or do drawings of their experiences with malaria. They are compiling the art work into a unique souvenir that will be available in the coming months. Here is a sample written by a six year old student in the Boro language and translated to English. In the poem "mela" means like a fair or gala:
End Malaria - Blue Ribbon clubs, responding to needs
Sara Malto is a widow who lives with her two children in the village of Bagantola. Her son is 8 years old and daughter 10. She is a daily wage laborer, and sends her children to the local government school.
Sara, and her children
On the 16th of October she started suffering from fever cold and cough. Her blood was tested by the field worker and it was negative for malaria. She was given medicines and improved slightly. On the 18th of October there was a medical camp for flood victims near Harisinga. The blue ribbon club members (one blue ribbon club has been formed by members from 5 churches) brought her to the camp. She was given medicines and felt better. However on the 22nd she got really sick with stomach ache and cough and fever. There was a ‘band’ that day. Her children were also not well.
The Blue ribbon club members took the three of them to the Primary Health centre in Udalguri. They were given medicines for which the BRCs members contributed and helped pay for.
They are doing much better now and were brought to Baptist Christian Hospital Tezpur to rule out any major illnesses. They are fine and just need iron supplements to take care of the anemia.
September 2007. Educating the leaders of SLAM
Workshops are continuosly taking place in the Assam region. Students in Harisinga organized a second workshop on September 14th. 80 students from seven schools attended the workshops and planned on how they can be an active force within the school and community.
The ADWR Team
The group on 14th September
Another workshop was conducted in Udalguri. Approximately 65 students from three schools attended. The highlight of the program was that Mr. Phantom taught everyone the malaria song. The young leaders were challenged about their roles as leaders in the fight against malaria.
A young leader shares the plans for his club
Learning the malaria song
Lets join hands to End Malaria- students learn the malaria song
Mr Phantom-writer and composer of the malaria song
On Saturday, September 8th, ADWR/End Malaria Blue Ribbon club members held this malaria workshop for local school teachers in Harisinga. 12 teachers from 4 school attended the morning workshop. At the end of the day, they were eager to take the message of "End Malaria" to their schools, through teaching about the disease and by recruiting new Student Leaders Against Malaria (SLAM) to help spread the word. The new SLAM will perpetuate the knowledge about malaria in their communities by forming more End Malaria Blue Ribbon clubs.
Workshop for Blue Ribbon clubs and teachers
Group picture of the attendees to the Malaria Workshop
Malaria Workshop presented by ADWR/End Malaria Blue Ribbon club members
Planning stage of new End Malaria Blue Ribbon clubs to educate more SLAM
Teachers distributing the End Malaria Blue Ribbon pins
August 2007. Young people making a difference in their community.
During the last week of July 2007, the ADWR conducted a workshop for the End Malaria - Blue Ribbon Club members of the Udalguri district, Assam. Many villagers are currently suffering of malaria, as it is the peak season for transmission, thus this malaria workshop was aimed to develop leadership within the villages to fight against this deadly disease. The workshop provided basic information about malaria and inspired the community to establish a prevention plan based on the needs and problems of their particular village so as to decrease the mortality and morbidity in the area. At the end of the workshop a registry was given to each new End Malaria-Blue Ribbon Club Village Leader to track their progress. For more information on the ADWR / End Malaria-Blue Ribbon club's goals in Assam click here .
Blue ribbon club members
A young leader President of BRC
A BRC member proudly displays her badge
Pictures taken during one of the End Malaria Blue Ribbon Malaria Awareness Training Session.
The first Malaria Camp was organized by Children Focused Malaria Control Program in March, 2007. Children performed a special song about malaria prevention during the inaugural ceremony ceremony. The lyrics and music were written by Mr. Phantom Daimari, a school teacher from Diamond English School Udalguri. At the camp, children participated in a "Walk for Malaria" to raise malaria awareness. The goal of the ADWR is to establish 20 End Malaria-Blue Ribbon Clubs in the next coming year, and one End Malaria-Blue Ribbon volunteer in every village.
School children participate in a Walk for Malaria to spread awareness.
Students present a song on malaria prevention at the inauguration ceremony of a 3-day Malaria Camp.
Government Officials join the End Malaria Blue Ribbon Campaign in Assam
Volunteers from the Assam region are responsible for the success of the End Malaria Blue Ribbon Campaign. Thank you to all!
The ADWR Team
Sharing the ribbon pin
Who are they?
The project ADWR (which means to care and nurture in the Boro Language) has started five End Malaria- Blue Ribbon Clubs in various local schools in Udalguri. Student leaders will learn about malaria and reach out to neighboring communities. The project is directed by Dr. Pratibha Singh, Director Community Outreach Program, Baptist Christian Hospital in Tezpur, Assam, India.
Contact information for Dr. Pratibha Singh:
DIRECTOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH
BAPTIST CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL
If you wish to support this project, write to