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Mozambique, April 2015: Singer Neyma, UNICEF Ambassador, sensitizes pregnant women to prevent malaria

Singer Neyma, UNICEF Ambassador in Mozambique, sensitizes pregnant women to prevent malaria
© UNICEF Mozambique/2015/Alexandre Marques
Singer Neyma, UNICEF Ambassador in Mozambique offers a mosquito net to Sausneta, 32, during her pre-natal consultation in the city of Xai-Xai. April 2015.

April, 2015, Xai-Xai, Mozambique – Sausneta, 32, got up early in the morning and walked to her local Health Centre in Xai-Xai City, Gaza province for her second pre-natal check-up.  She had received very good care during her first visit and so was eager to arrive early. However, she could not imagine the very special attention that she would receive as she was not only well cared for by the nurses but, to her surprise, the famous Mozambican singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Neyma, was among the personnel to receive her and learn about the status of her pregnancy.

Sausneta already knew about the importance of preventing malaria but she paid even more attention to the information she was provided with during her check-up as she was being advised by someone famous.Neyma, also a mother like Sausneta, carefully explained to Sausneta about the dangers of malaria for pregnant women told her that she should always use a mosquito net and take regular preventive malaria medicines during the pregnancy.

About 33 percent of deaths among under five children in Mozambique are due to malaria. Especially during pregnancies, if treatment is not provided quickly malaria can result in severe anaemia, miscarriage, a low birth weight or premature baby or even the death of the baby or mother.

"Mom, do not ever forget to sleep under the mosquito net. Even for a minute. Think about your health and of the baby, do not let mosquitoes put an end to your dreams and from this child yet to be born" advised Neyma offering her a long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito net, made available by the health services for pregnant women.

Neyma went on to explain to Sausneta that "everyone at home should sleep under a mosquito net. Always keep them clean and without holes. Wash them carefully with bar soap, put them to dry in the shade only, and if holes appear, sew them closed with needle and thread so that mosquitoes do not get through.  And if the health team comes to your home to spray, please let them do their job."

Sausneta knows that many pregnant women do not attend every prenatal visits recommended by the nurses. They also fear to take the preventive treatment of malaria, known as TIP, or do not comply with the doses, which should be at least three times or more from the fourth month of pregnancy, one doses a month. She also was afraid at first but felt more comforted with the health personal explanation and the example of singer Neyma, who also offered her a glass of water to help her take the pills.

"I know that sometimes costs taking the drugs. Do not be afraid. This treatment ensures that all malaria parasites that are in the blood, even without causing symptoms, or that are within the placenta interfering with the nutrition of your baby, are eliminated. Only then, and with the help of the mosquito net, you can ensure a malaria free pregnancy. Do not ever fail", recommended Neyma.

Sausneta ended her consultation with renewed hope, promising to always use her new net and to take her preventive medication. She also agreed to talk to her friends and neighbours about the importance of fighting malaria.

The visit of the UNICEF Ambassador in Mozambique to maternal and child health care services in Xai-Xai City, was an incentive for pregnant women to strengthen their care in preventing the disease, but also for the health personnel in their outreach efforts.

"Malaria continues to affect our lives, particularly children and pregnant women. What saddens me most is to know that malaria continues to kill when there are preventive measures available to all of us. So, I found it very important to be here today, joining UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and health workers’ efforts to raise awareness on the dangers of this disease and the importance of prevention", said Neyma also participating in the World Malaria Day celebrations in Xai-Xai, where she sang and mobilised the community to prevent malaria. 

Neyma, UNICEF Ambassador in Mozambique helps Sausneta, 32, to take the preventive treatment (TIP) of malaria during her pre-natal consultation in the city of Xai-Xai. April 2015.
© UNICEF Mozambique/2015/Alexandre Marques
Neyma, UNICEF Ambassador in Mozambique helps Sausneta, 32, to take the preventive treatment (TIP) of malaria during her pre-natal consultation in the city of Xai-Xai. April 2015.

UNICEF supports the health authorities to prevent and treat malaria in Mozambique, working with the Ministry of Health to review and advise on policies that ensure that children and pregnant women have access to interventions to prevent and treat malaria and to support the distribution of mosquito nets to pregnant women, specifically in Zambézia, Tete and Gaza where access to these services is still low.  UNICEF also support the Ministry of Health to make sure that community health workers are able to provide information about malaria, and other diseases, to rural communities.

For more information please contact

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique,
tel: (+258) 21 481 100
e-mail: gpereira@unicef.org 

 

 

 
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