Yacine Djibo, Founder & President of Speak Up Africa is helping focus International Women’s Day (March 8th) on efforts to protect women from malaria in Senegal. She is highlighting the commitments of 8 strong and beautiful women, in Senegal, that are dedicated to eliminating malaria in their country. These commitments are part of an inclusive mass communication campaign that aims to launch a national movement in favor of malaria elimination in Senegal: the “Zero Malaria! Count Me In” campaign
International Women’s Day, represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women all around the world. This year’s theme is “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture it” envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education or fighting malaria. Below is the eighth and final feature on women fighting malaria in Senegal ……
Nurses at the health center in Senegal’s Guédiawaye district bring their expertise to tirelessly provide essential malaria services to all community members. Of particular importance are pregnant women, a vulnerable group which must have access to prevention and treatment tools to ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy newborns.
Reducing the rate of infection to protect mothers and children is key, and remains one of the most pressing health issues facing the malaria community today. Pregnant women are at a higher risk for malaria as pregnancy reduces a woman’s immunity. Without the acquisition and use of insecticide treated mosquito nets and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp), there is an increased risk of women (particularly those in their first and second pregnancies) contracting malaria, which can result in premature birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
Each nurse’s job is twofold, to ensure women have the proper information and tools to prevent and treat malaria cases, and to ensure clear communication with her health post for what is needed in the community. Nurses are essential and their work is applauded on International Women’s day, as we recognize amazing examples of women supporting their fellow women to ensure health needs are met.
Headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, Speak Up Africa is a creative health communications and advocacy organization dedicated to catalyzing African leadership, enabling policy change, securing resources and inspiring individual action for the most pressing issue affecting Africa’s future: child health.