Religious leaders have the potential to promote and maintain positive changes in the social norms, attitudes, and behaviors of their community; however, malaria will not be eliminated without the efforts of all, we all have a role to play; therefore, improving public health outcomes is a shared responsibility. This means reaching out to all citizens to ensure the quality and reach of health services and prevention measures.
In these efforts, Rwanda Interfaith Council joined the campaign against malaria; throughout a week, religious leaders have spread messages against malaria in religious gatherings, prayers and teachings across Rwanda.
As part of the official closing of this week-long campaign; Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health alongside representatives from Guides of Association of Guides of Rwanda, Caritas-Rwanda, RBC, and Ruhango district have joined residents of Ntongwe sector in Ruhango district for monthly community work.
Photo: Religious leaders, representatives of development partnes organisations , local leaders joined the community members for this special community work (Umuganda) dedicated to eradicating Malaria
During Umuganda, officials and residents joined forces to dig trenches in the field to control drainage, prevent water run-off and erosion, one of Ntongwe farmers’ main challenges.
After Umuganda, different officials addressed citizens on how to eradicate malaria. Executive Secretary of Ntongwe sector, Nahayo Jean Marie has begun his welcoming remarks by thanking everyone who participated in today’s community work.
Photo: Nahayo Jean Marie , the Executive secretary of Ntongwe sector
Addressing citizens, USAID representative, Lisa Godwin commended the Ntongwe citizens’ awareness of malaria; apart from that she also lauded RICH’s contribution to eradicate malaria across the country.
Photo: Lisa Godwin, representing USAID in this umuganda
During this campaign, Sheikh Musa Sindayigaya stressed that religious leaders have been spreading the messages against malaria throughout this week in religious gatherings. Apart from, Sheikh Musa Sindayiga promised to the citizens that RICH will continue to work together to eradicate malaria in Ruhango district and across the country as well.
Photo: Sheikh Musa Sindayigaya
In her address, Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs, Ms. Alphonsine Mukangenzi reminded citizens to sleep in the mosquito net, to eliminate water sources near homes and to consult community health workers or to visit a health center in case of symptoms of malaria
Photo: Mrs Alphonsine MukangenziDeputy Mayor for Social Affairs,
Mrs. Alphonsine also pointed out that the district, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Rwanda Biomedical Center, Ruhango District has redoubled its efforts to spray insecticides at home and distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets to eradicate the disease across the district.
Ruhango District is one of the districts with the highest prevalence due to its geographical location, but some negative practices, such as the use of waterholes to prepare cassava soil near the houses.
Photo: Mosquito nets were distributed to the mostly in need
On this occasion, insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed to residents who did not have one at home.
The campaign against malaria was conducted from 21 to 27 October 2019; RICH in collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Health, and Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) has used the religious denomination to spread the holistic message in churches and mosques to defeat malaria.