Senegal Celebrates Dramatic Success of Unique Model to Fight Child Killing Malaria Senegal Celebrates Dramatic Success of Unique Model to Fight Child Killing Malaria
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Senegal Celebrates Dramatic Success of Unique Model to Fight Child Killing Malaria
by Seune Ndiaye
Senegalese superstars, Viviane and Pape Diouf, took to the stage last night to celebrate their country’s success in the fight against malaria. The crowd went wild as Viviane pulled ministers and health officials to the stage in a reprise of Senegal’s malaria anthem.
The Senegalese government pioneered the use of community-based volunteers in the malaria fight. In a program called PECADOM, locally elected volunteers in the smallest, most remote communities can be called upon by mothers with babies suffering from fever. These volunteers are equipped with the tools to diagnose and then to treat malaria and to provide appropriate solutions for pneumonia and diarrhea as well. Senegalese health authorities credit this localized community action with dramatic progress against child mortality.
Seneaglese superstars like Youssou Ndour (now Senegal’s Minister of Tourism), Viviane and Pape Diouf, religious leaders like the brotherhoods of Mourides, Tidjanes and Layenes, wrestlers like Modou Lo, Eumeu Sene and Yekini, football icons like Moussa Sow are taking this notion of community responsibility to the next level. They are each using their celebrity, media and popular platforms to catalyze individual and government action. In partnership with media companies, these celebrities speak out regularly about malaria on popular tv and radio stations.
Private sector players like Total, Sanofi-Aventis, Sonatel, Pfizer and Tigo are lending their considerable heft and resources to the fight. They each have recognized that investment in Senegal’s child health is investment in Senegal’s markets and its future. As they do so, their actions continue to catalyze momentum against malaria.
*Speak Up Africa is a Dakar based non-profit dedicated to ending deaths from the three leading causes of death among African’s children: malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.