"I educate and diagnose malaria. The serious cases I refer to the hospital. We are the first line of defense for the village - and cases have been decreasing. I teach people to be careful, to use a net at night and to wear long-sleeved shirts after dusk. My job is not difficult, but it takes a lot of time to do properly. It's a big responsibility. But at least no one wakes me up at night! We try to work in the daylight hours. Less mosquitoes, you know."
For every patient diagnosed with malaria at a health facility, it is believed that four to five infections occur in the community. Therefore, community health workers play a critical role in the fight against the disease. Not only do they diagnose and begin early treatment of malaria, they also educate their communities about how the parasite is transmitted, and the importance of using preventive measures such as mosquito nets, wearing long sleeves at night, or repellent after dusk. The village malaria workers demonstrate how successful community-level prevention is a critical component for a sustainable malaria solution.