Prayer

Wrapping children in prayer: Malaria

By Chris Huber and Kari Costanza
Jun 26, 2014
Remigio was just 6 months old when he contracted malaria.
©2014 Jon Warren/World Vision
Vincent Kakooza, 39, cradles his son, Remigio, 2. Because World Vision trained Vincent to diagnose Uganda’s three killer diseases — malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea — he was able to save Remigio when he was sick with malaria at 6 months.

At 6 months, Remigio was “attacked by fever in the middle of the night,” says Vincent, a village health team worker in Uganda. “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 says. “By morning, his temperature went down. He stopped sweating. He stopped crying.”

Vincent felt more than relief. “I was overjoyed,” he says. That’s because Vincent is more than Remigio’s “doctor” — he’s his dad.

Health volunteers like Vincent are called “doctors” by the communities they serve, despite receiving only five days of training. Vincent serves as one of 250 village health team workers in Kiboga, a district with 350,000 residents. Across Uganda, every community has two village health team workers. These volunteers work as the front line of defense against malaria, a disease that killed more than 627,000 people in 2012.

World Vision advocates for and supports these unpaid lifesavers, helping train them and giving them the tools to succeed: bicycles to pedal down rutted roads, rubber boots to stomp through the rain, clothing that signifies their position, and most importantly, medicine to treat sick children like Remigio.

Please pray with us for the millions of children around the world who don’t have access to life-saving malaria prevention and treatment options and for the health workers caring for them.

Suggested prayer points

Pray that more families would receive mosquito nets and training.

Betty Sande, 22, had malaria so often that health clinic nurses used to accuse her of stockpiling drugs. Then World Vision provided mosquito nets to Betty’s family, including her 2-year-old daughter, Melvin. Now, they no longer get malaria. World Vision also trained them to use the nets effectively to ensure protection from mosquitoes at night. Costing less than $10 each, nets are being distributed across sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 36 percent of people sleep under an insecticide treated net — but millions of households remain vulnerable to the potentially deadly bite of a malaria-carrying mosquito.

Heavenly Father, we find joy in the sight of a mother and child able to play because they no longer worry about sickness from a mosquito bite. Bless aid workers with ample resources and energy to distribute nets to the millions of families that still need them.

Pray for village health workers.

In rural Uganda, a family’s access to a trained health worker like Vincent can mean the difference between life and death. Health workers in remote areas learn to care for sick community members through World Vision’s Radio Distance Learning program. David Guina and his team produce this learning tool as part of a mobile phone-based system that provides access to resources to help diagnose and treat patients or refer them to better-equipped health facilities out of town.

Lord, we lift up Vincent and other village health workers who work hard to meet the needs in their community. Give them deep purpose, sustained energy, wisdom, and sufficient resources to fulfill their daily duties.

Pray for ample resources for testing and diagnosis.

Rapid diagnostic tests like the ones Vincent uses are helping more people get malaria treatment quickly, says the World Health Organization. In fact, about 64 percent of suspected malaria cases globally received a rapid diagnostic test in 2012, compared with just 44 percent in 2010. World Vision supplies these rapid test kits to clinics and village health workers like Vincent, who then use a drop of blood to diagnose a patient in 15 minutes. Thousands more tests are needed to cover hard-to-reach communities.

Lord, we see so much progress, yet so much need. Empower companies and aid groups to deliver supplies where needed most.

Pray for reliable treatment options for children.

Children like Asumanu Magatte, 13, of rural eastern Uganda, often suffer needlessly from a lack of access to malaria treatment. After testing positive for malaria, Asumanu received World Vision-supplied medicine to counteract the effects of the miserable disease.

Dear Lord, thank You for relieving one boy’s agony and inspiring workers and donors to help many more. Make a way for more people to receive adequate treatment so they can focus on the opportunities that bring fullness of life.

 

Join the Hope Prayer Team!

Sign up to receive a free, monthly email guiding you in how to pray for World Vision's global work.

LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.
Psalm 30:2