Home > News > World Malaria Day 2018. The nurses of Mont-Ngafula (R.D. Congo) fight malaria with education.

“I tried to make the most of my time here in Italy as an intern and these three months really passed quickly”. Olga is 30 years old, she studied at the Institute of Nursing Sciences -ISSI of Kinshasa, in the R.D. of Congo and, thanks to a scholarship, she was able to carry out a period of training at the Campus Bio Medico University in Rome, practicing in the various fields of surgery.

“Congo continues to live in a particularly unstable condition but, despite of this, most deaths are not caused by the violence of the ongoing conflict but rather by malnutrition and its consequences. Malaria and food insecurity are a terrible combination that causes a real massacre especially among children. Chronic malnutrition leads to the weakening of the immune system and therefore to a greater ease of being affected by endemic diseases, first of all malaria “.

The Democratic Republic of Congo represents, with over 24 million cases of malaria, the second country of the African continent for spread and impact of the disease which is the main cause of maternal and child morbidity. Despite the potentially flourishing economy due to the huge natural resources available, the Country remains one of the poorest in the world and the ongoing political upheavals have even more devastating consequences from the point of view of the food insecurity: one in five children dies before the fifth year of life and the constant flow of refugees (3.7 million displaced persons) weigh heavily on the available food resources.“The area of ​​Mont-Ngafula (where is ISSI) is not affected by the violence at the moment but we are ready to serve in any part of the Country if needed. A nurse trained at ISSI quickly finds a job because of our professional and human preparation”. The health system is inadequate in equipment, drugs, but above all in staff training, necessary to improve the quality of healthcare.”Patients can not afford medical treatment. As an example, for malaria exist effective drugs, if it is treated in time with the right drug, complications are reduced but excessive costs do not make possible to get appropriate treatments. Waiting to be able to count on available and low-cost medicines, on fast and free diagnostic tests, the nurses focus on education and therefore on prevention, keeping on mind that the person is at the center of it.Part of the tasks of the ISSI staff is therefore to carry out community sensitization activities, through social mobilization campaigns and targeted training sessions to spread awareness of the importance of habits to prevent malaria, so that every single family and pregnant mother can understand the importance of protecting herself and her children and timely access to health services at the onset of the first symptoms. “Every initiative aimed at the most vulnerable people has always the objective of raising awareness on the issues of hygiene and health because the task of a nurse is not limited to the assistance of sick people but extends to the care of the person”.

Adopting sustainable solutions, according to the needs of the population, is what Olga has learned during the years of study at ISSI where she herself, as a person as well as a student, has been at the center of the training received. “I am grateful for the opportunity that was granted to me and that allowed me, thanks to the support received, to become a nurse and to make experience here in Italy and that’s why my priority is to do my job well, collaborating in the formation of other people, thus restoring what has been given to me “.

April 25th is the International Day Against Malaria: an opportunity to highlight the need to invest and support the political commitments for the control and prevention of the disease. An opportunity also to contribute, each one of us, to the training of people like Olga. Support the Harambee project for the Institute of Nursing Science: donate now

Click here and listen to Olga’s appeal.

Harambee Africa International promotes education and training projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and awareness initiatives on the Continent in the rest of the world. For information: www.harambee-africa.org