Ukachi Emeruwa ’10
Reducing the Malaria Burden–One Village at a Time
This summer, I served as an intern for the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation. Infanta Malaria is a Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to raising awareness about malaria prevention and treatment by providing education, services, equipment, and medication to the most vulnerable group – pregnant women and children in remote, rural villages. My responsibilities included: data collection; training on malaria prevention; short residencies in villages with Infanta Malaria’s partner organizations; research that assisted in fund raising activities; and attending seminars or other venues that assisted in Infanta Malaria’s efforts to stay abreast of new information.
Though the internship constituted my first experience in public health, I played an active role in impacting the community. Using some of the resources and contacts that I made, I was able to arrange for an ophthalmology team to visit the village in which I was living, where we provided eye screening and cataract surgeries to the villagers at no cost. The best part of the internship was the flexibility and freedom that allowed me to travel the country and to develop personal projects to help the cause. For the duration of my stay, I worked to design malaria educational materials for children ages 4-7 because early exposure to even the most basic facts about transmission and prevention could significantly increase long-term awareness and knowledge about the disease and preventive measures. By reaching out to the children, I would hopefully be making a contribution that could have a long-term impact for generations to come.
Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, Ghana