The Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of the Links, in partnership with YEWA Global, a non-governmental organization located in Yewaland, Nigeria, provided malaria medication to thousands of children in Nigeria. The chapter also provided information, in the form of an educational pamphlet designed by the chapter, to the parents of those children.
Yewaland region is located in the southern part of Nigeria, and is an area where malaria is transmitted year-round. Based on the latest United Nations estimates the current population of Nigeria is 187,870,762. Approximately 97% of Nigeria’s population is at-risk for developing malaria. Malaria is also a leading cause of mortality for children under five. By American standards, the cost of medication for the early treatment of malaria is modest, about 450 Naira or 88 cents. However, this cost is a hardship for many families in Nigeria where approximately 65 % of families live in poverty.
From December 5, through December 16, 2016, chapter member Patricia Kusimo traveled to Nigeria and led the project where 4,500 packages of malaria medication were purchased and distributed over a 5-day period at 12 different locations in Yewaland. Six of the twelve locations were recommended by a local Nigerian school system because of the locations’ proximity to standing bodies of water and the incidence of malaria among the students living in those locations. The project had 3 objectives: (1) to develop and distribute a malaria awareness/information brochure to parents receiving the malaria medication for children three to eleven years of age; (2) to purchase medication for the early treatment of malaria in children three to eleven years old and; (3) to distribute malaria medication to parents with children three to eleven years old.