Joaquim Cardoso's life has been changed forever by malaria. He recalls with sadness and pain how he and his wife lost one of their six beloved children to the deadly parasite.
Filled with resolve, Joaquim has now turned his devastating loss into motivation to protect other children and families. Along with 100 other volunteers, Joaquim was trained by the Lutheran malaria program in Mozambique and has become a community "activista" in his hometown of Namacaua.
He now tells others, "I have learned not to wait until it is too late to take a sick person for testing and treatment – they must go within 24 hours!"
During door-to-door education campaigns and home visits, Joaquim and other health workers in his district teach their neighbors about the serious consequences of malaria and how to protect their families. They use a song in their native language, Emakua, to teach their neighbors that malaria is preventable- 'Malariayala Nikassope!'
The work of Joaquim and his colleagues is bearing good fruit. Malaria is now a common topic of education and conversation in households and in Lutheran churches in many areas of Mozambique.
The community of Nhamicungo, for example, is located in a very remote area—sick people have to walk 60 kilometers to the nearest hospital. This makes malaria prevention even more crucial. Nhamicungo is a new preaching point in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mozambique (IELM) and is served by evangelists. These evangelists preach the word of God in Nhamicungo, and they educate the community about malaria as well.
(The photo above depicts a drama performance presented by the Lutheran youth group in the community of Nhamicungo. Their performance taught malaria prevention techniques.)
We are grateful to Lutheran leaders and volunteers in Mozambique for their attention to the health of body and soul, and we pray for their continued efforts!