While there are substantial resources being deployed to fight malaria on a global level, it remains a terrible problem. Health agencies have great difficulty delivering services to remote communities. Effective anti-malarial drugs supplied by The Global Fund sit in boxes at the regional hospital in Sumbawa while just over the mountain pregnant mothers and their children needlessly suffer repeated bouts of malaria during the rainy season. In such communities some 20% of children either die from malaria or are permanently disabled by it before reaching the age of 10. As a result, economic and social development are stunted while thousands of villagers suffer from treatable or preventable diseases. Health Access Sumbawa is addressing this unmet need.
There was no malaria control program on this roadless coast when HAS began its work. Our first step is to meet with the community to gain support and organize volunteers. We take a census and number every home so patients can be tracked. We then use a team of community volunteers to go house -to-house delivering and hanging treated bednets in homes so that 100% of the population has protection from mosquitoes while they sleep.
In 2016 HAS built a laboratory clinic in Sili village so medical staff could competently diagnose & treat malaria. This includes a laboratory with microscope & wash basin, a toilet/ shower room, a patient treatment room, and a covered porch patient waiting area. HAS sent two health department staff to The Sumba Foundation Malaria School for training to W.H.O. certification level. With a malaria microscopist living in the village, our clinic has the capability to diagnose & treat malaria. Our clinic currently employs three part time nurses and an administrator. The goal of controlling malaria in three hamlets within three years was accomplished in November 2017.
Our next step is to expand our service area to include adjoining communities. We run our own programs In our primary service area. This covers an area within 1 hour from our clinic. Dark blue on the map below, Expanding malaria coverage to Mata and Tolo-oi will be cost effective because our lab in Sili is under-utilized. HAS could process 5 times more malaria blood slides with a modest budget increase.
HAS helps the health department boost the effectiveness of it's existing health infrastructure. We can make a big impact on malaria infection rates throughout central Sumbawa long term by sending nurses to The Sumba Foundation Malaria School, setting up simple diagnostic laboratories within existing hospitals / health centers, subsidizing the cost of insecticide treated bed nets and making sure they are widely available to the public. The area to be served is the bright green area on the map.