Every rainy season in Guinea Bissau, malaria cases increase, especially among children. In 2020, for the first time we organized a trip to the village of Sanconha, in the region of Tombali. Normally no one can reach this village during the rainy season, because the roads become flooded and are impassable. We thought it was important to do everything we could to get to this isolated town during the height of malaria season, in August. This region is hit hard by malaria especially because it is surrounded by forest, and child mortality unfortunately goes up at this time.
When we were almost to the village, the roads were totally flooded and impossible to pass. Our car became stuck in the mud. We tried for four hours to get it free, but the head of the village heard we had car trouble and came to help us. He said it was the first time he had ever seen people from outside come during the rainy season, and we were there to help save the children’s lives. So called all the youth from the village and asked them to come and help us to get the car out of the mud.
Everyone came to push the car, and with the help of everyone, our vehicle was eventually freed from the mud. We then distributed malaria prevention tools such as bed nets, Sulfadixine/Pyrimethamine+ Amodiaquine, Artemether + Lumefantrine, and Rapid diagnostic Tests. We spoke to a woman who had just given birth, and she had a C-section, and she thanked us for bringing the medicine and the mosquito nets. She said it would really help her make sure her baby stayed healthy during the rainy season. Their appreciation and help was very moving.