Faiths Act in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone has a population of almost 6 million, but just 240 medical practitioners. It is a country ravaged by malaria. Faiths Act in Sierra Leone is committed to training people of different faiths to take action and help prevent deaths from malaria. We have over 600 faith leaders spearheading our campaign to support malaria prevention education.
Malaria in Sierra Leone
One third of all children under the age of five are killed by malaria in Sierra Leone. This figure can and must be reduced.
In December 2010, the government distributed bed nets throughout the country; but many households do not know how to use them or how to treat a sick child when they have malaria.
Empowering Faith Communities
Faith communities on the ground in Sierra Leone, as in many parts of Africa, have a huge role to play. At the end of every rural road, there is always a church or a mosque. The great value of places of worship is not just their bricks and mortar but the trust and authority held by the religious leaders.
Faith communities often reach areas where government or health networks have little or no access. Their incomparable reach make them a valuable, low-cost ally in the fight against malaria.
We are now witnessing that the number of patients being admitted due to both simple and complicated malaria has started to decrease because of the Faiths Act project here in Makeni. Of course other factors may contribute to this decline but there is no doubt that the strategy to take malaria prevention messages to families in their homes by faith leaders and the volunteers trained by the Faiths Act project has played a significant role.
Dr Patrick Turay, Medical Director