Abel Makungwe, Malaria Field Officer
Abel Makungwe is the Malaria Field Officer operating in Zambia. He travels to congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia to teach people about malaria issues:
- What is malaria?
- What causes it?
- How does it spread?
- Who is at risk?
- Who is at highest risk?
- How can malaria be prevented?
- What are its symptoms?
- What must a person with symptoms do?
- How is malaria treated?
- What expectations should every person have for how he or she gets treatment?
Abel strives for each community to take ownership of their learning and of their health. He also trains pastors and other church leaders to be Community Health Workers. During the past year, these volunteers have been trained to diagnose the symptoms of malaria and to recommend preventative or treatment measures, or in some cases to administer medications themselves.
In these photos, Abel is presenting a workshop to a Lutheran congregation in Chanyanya, a rural community outside of the Zambian capital, Lusaka. My colleague Matt (ELCA Global Mission) says this about Abel: ”One of the most rewarding things about watching Abel work is seeing the enthusiasm and sophistication of community involvement rise as he delivers his education program.”
Abel’s good work–and the work of all of our global partners in the fight against malaria– is bearing fruit. In the past ten years, cases of malaria in Zambia have decreased by 66%. But even so, four million people in Zambia are still affected by malaria each year, and so our work continues.
Abel reminds us of the importance of being proactive. “You only benefit through these things when you become active,” he says. This sums up well Abel’s attitude towards all his work fighting malaria in Zambia…
… and it sums up the work of the ELCA Malaria Campaign. The Body of Christ benefits when our sisters and brothers in Africa can live lives free from malaria. And our companions have the ability to implement malaria programming because we have become active and generous donors!
Thank you to all of you who have generously supported the ELCA Malaria Campaign. This story represents your malaria dollars at work.