The Model Families Initiative for Malaria Control (MFIMC)
The Model Families Initiative for Malaria Control (MFIMC) is an intervention that utilizes behavior change communication as its primary strategy to control malaria. The MFIMC program; designed to facilitate malaria-specific health behavioral change among vulnerable populations in high-risk communities was modeled and adapted around a successful USAID funded program in Ethiopia.
With support from Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation, Westfield Development Initiative (WDI) piloted the Model Families’ Initiative for Malaria Control (MFIMC) in Akowonjo, Alimosho local government area. Throughout the 6-month pilot, up to 480 participating families were supported and resourced to carry out the following key actions; to minimize their risk of malaria infection and reduce the possibility of fatalities:
- Sleeping under LLIN’s (Long lasting insecticide treated net); LLINs were provided to all participating families by WDI.
- Seeking medical help at the first sign of fever
- Requesting tests for proper diagnosis before treatment
- Complying fully with prescribed drug regimen
- Maintaining clean and dry environment around the home
- Increasing knowledge about safe preventive and care seeking actions against malaria
Key activities of MFIMC include : selection and training of FW’s, resourcing of families with malaria protection aid, mentoring and monitoring families around the 6 specific doable actions and delivery of community education meetings. A total of 842 families and 2496 individuals were impacted over the 6-month project period.
The pilot yielded remarkable results showing a 271% uptake in the use of LLINs, 97% reduction in malaria prevalence and more than 50% uptake in all other key actions. WDI’s hypotheses that family mentoring and supports, complemented by appropriate resourcing, can lead to uptake of health preserving and life-saving practices in urban communities appear to be validated.