HKI Sierra Leone Celebrates Maternal and Child Health Week
Makeni, Sierra Leone - Helen Keller International, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners, launched an integrated health campaign on November 25th, 2010 that will continue through December 2nd, 2010. This biannual event, Mami en Pekin Welbodi Week, takes place in all 13 districts and aims to prevent illness and death for children under five as a complement to routine services. The initiative creates a platform to reach every home in the country and maximize coverage of preventive services. The main goal of the campaign is the distribution of free long-lasting insecticide treated nets to all households in the country to help control malaria. This is the biggest campaign ever conducted in Sierra Leone with 3.2 million mosquito nets being distributed, or one net for every 2-3 persons. It is anticipated that universal access to treated nets will increase utilization by 80% which has the potential to reduce malaria-associated morbidity by 50% and malaria-associated mortality by 18%. In addition to the nets, the Oral Polio vaccine, vitamin A capsules, and de-worming medicine (albendazole) are given to children under five years old.