United Methodist Nigeria Health Board Reaches 30 Remote Villages with Malaria Prevention and Treatment
Jennifer Schumacher-Kocik is a senior program manager in Health and Development with the Global Health unit, Global Ministries
Four countries—Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, and Uganda—account for nearly 50 percent of deaths due to malaria (from CDC and USAID reports, 2013). Nigeria is the worst hit, with more reported malaria cases and deaths than any other country in the world. With a population of about 170 million, many rural and hard-to-reach villages are often left out of national malaria control efforts. These remote and forgotten villages have been the focus of the Rural Health program of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria. The Nigerian Health Board has been responding to the challenge of malaria in remote villages tucked in the nooks of the Sandstone Mountains of northeastern Nigeria along the banks of the Upper Benue River and stretching across Federated States of Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, and Adamawa.
A long-lasting insecticide-treated net (LLIN) distribution in Nigeria. Photo: Global Health/Global Ministries
The aim of the Rural Health program is to reach the most vulnerable, pregnant women, and children under age five with LLINs, malaria diagnosis, and treatment services in these underserved villages. Services are provided through two mobile clinics supported by Imagine No Malaria grants from the General Board of Global Ministries. The first phase of bed-net distribution in 2014 reached 3,400 women in 10 villages. The second phase in 2015 was targeted to reach 15,000 pregnant and nursing mothers in 30 villages. The health board hopes to reach even more villages with nets and services in 2016.
This story was originally published in the New World Outlook, May-June 2016 issue. Used by permission. July 27-August 6, 2017. McEachern UMC is sending a team to Gwandum, Nigeria next summer to install solar power infrastructure at the United Methodist Computer Institute. No special skills are needed, though a training session for solar power installation is recommended; the team leader can provide more information on this. The cost is currently estimated to be between $2000-$2500. For more information, contact team leader Jeff Jernigan at email@example.com.