On our very last day in Sierra Leone, hours before we left on a plane, GMin gave a presentation to all the key stakeholders in malaria control in the country. It was the monthly Roll Back Malaria meeting, and in the audience were representatives from the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), the Red Cross, the World Bank, UNICEF, the United Methodist Church, and the WHO. They all wanted to learn from our small distribution in Pujehun.
The reason for their interest is that the NMCP is planning a weeklong campaign to distribute 2 million nets in November to finally achieve the full mosquito net coverage they pledged under the Abuja declaration. We were given 10 minutes, and we did our best to demonstrate how education has been a key component of our success; spending 5 minutes extra on making sure that the net is used properly makes a big difference on usage in the long run. We think such education is best achieved by going house-to-house, and hopefully the NMCP will be able to combine our distribution model with the voucher system they want to put in place.
The best part was when they presented the budget and the major donors. It read: Global Fund, Red Cross, DFID, GMin! Our 10,560 nets are being counted, which guarantees that nets won’t be wasted on the already saturated Malen chiefdom. In all, our work has made life a little easier for the big guys, and even more people will receive mosquito nets. After a quick Q&A about our work, we hurried to the ferry to cross the bay to the airport, and our work this summer was done.