On May 22, 2019 Banyan Global gender and youth experts organized a community dialogue in Uganda as part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)- and President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)-funded Malaria Action Program for Districts (MAPD).
The team worked with the village health team at Busaana Health Center III in the Kampala Region to conduct the dialogue at nearby Namirembe COU Primary School. The health center and the school are in a region that has recently reported high cases of malaria. The dialogue coincided with a visit from the USAID/Uganda Mission Director and other mission staff.
Forty-three community members took part in the dialogue. The facilitators used “Kassim’s story” (a case study about the gender-related barriers to early diagnosis and treatment of malaria) to spark discussions about gender norms and the health-system factors that affect access to malaria prevention and treatment for women and children. Participants opened up about similar experiences they have had in accessing treatment and provided practical suggestions on how to deal with these barriers at the household and system levels.
The USAID Mission Director told participants that he left the dialogue with knowledge on the important role that he can play in eliminating malaria from his household. He stated, “Kassim’s story touches all of us in the communities we come from. It shows the factors that lead to delays in seeking treatment.” He also encouraged all participants to continue to reflect on Kassim’s story after they left to do their part in eliminating malaria in their households.