Today is World Malaria Day! Join us in the fight against this deadly but preventable disease.
Vincent Kakooza is a village health team worker in Uganda. He battles malaria every day. Read how his training and dedication saved the life of 6-month-old Remigio, who is very special to him!
Vincent Kakooza knew exactly what to do the night that baby Remigio fell horribly ill, thanks to a radio show, a rapid test kit for malaria, and medicine supplied by World Vision.
Vincent is a village health team worker in Uganda, one of 250 such workers in Kiboga, a district with 350,000 residents. Across Uganda, every community has two village health team workers. They are the front line of defense against Uganda’s killer diseases: malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
Village health team workers are unpaid volunteers. They only receive five days of training. By every right, they should fail miserably.
But when they work in communities where World Vision operates, they are held in high esteem.
Villagers call them “doctor.”
That’s because World Vision is the advocate of these unpaid lifesavers.
World Vision gives them what they need to succeed: bicycles to pedal down rutted roads, rubber boots to stomp through the rain, clothing that signifies who they are, and most importantly, medicine to treat malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
World Vision produces a radio program that teaches them how to diagnose and treat illnesses. Staff text the volunteers with questions after the program to test their knowledge.
I asked Vincent about the most significant thing he’d learned from World Vision’s radio program. He told me the story of baby Remigio.
Six-month-old Remigio was “attacked by fever in the middle of the night,” says Vincent. “He was sweating; he was crying.”
Vincent knew what to do. He tested the baby for malaria using a rapid test kit. In 15 minutes, the blood test came back positive.
“I got out the malaria medicine and gave it to him immediately,” he told me. “By morning, his temperature went down. He stopped sweating. He stopped crying.”
Vincent felt more than relief. “I was overjoyed,” he said.
And then he told me why.
Vincent is more than Remigio’s “doctor.” He’s his dad.
Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases impacting children around the world, which is why World Vision has made the fight against malaria a top priority. Please join us in our efforts to prevent this deadly disease.
Thanks to grant funds, your gift today will multiply four times in impact to help prevent malaria in Africa, where 90 percent of malaria deaths occur. You’ll help provide life-saving interventions like insecticide-treated bed nets, medical care, malaria prevention education, and more!