World Malaria Day in Webuye: Making a Difference to Our Communities

A few days ago, we celebrated World Malaria Day in our Making More Health (MMH) community center in Webuye, Kenya. It was a special occassion for the local community, not least because the fight against malaria remains a tough challenge in this region. According to the Palladium Group, the Kenyan national malaria incidence was reported at 125.92 cases per 1,000 inhabitants. However, in the counties which form the Lake Endemic Region in the Western part of the country, "the incidences reported were significantly higher than the national average." For instance, the Bungoma and Vihiga counties reported a significantly higher number than the national average, with locally more than 200 cases per 1,000 inhabitants (Source).

“While inviting our community, we joined other people globally in celebrating World Malaria day. During the day at our MMH center, our people were trained on how to prepare Artemisia tea," says Chrisantus, our local NGO support. It was indeed a very special day, as this local community joined the world to help curb malaria. This region of Western Kenya and Nyanza are prone to malaria, most of the people suffer from malaria while access to health facilities is another problem. Since Mosquitoes are a key vector of malaria, it is utmost important to keep the homes free of mosquitoes. Artemisia can be quite a helpful plant in this endeavor. Whenever Artemisia is planted into the compound, it repels mosquitoes, and, when it is taken as tea after processing, it enhances the human immune system. Furthermore, the number of mosquito bites is reduced as the skin pores release a smell to expel the mosquitoes. This reduces the medical cost of a household.

“In addition, we launched an Artemisia garden from which more than 3,000 households will benefit now," adds Chrisantus. "We had an experienced Artemisia trainer in our MMH center. We give 3,000 seedlings to our people, so that in all households people can care about themselves.” The celebration was also attended by the provincial administration, a bank manager, pastors, and teachers, with news coverage to 6 local TV and radio stations highlighting the occasion. It was indeed a great, memorable day at the community center in Webuye!