Meet Gniré: A Malaria Survivor in Mali
In the rural community in Mali where Gniré lives, 90% of the mosquitos are female. Since malaria is transmitted through the bites of infected female mosquitoes, this puts the children in Gniré’s community at great risk of contracting this deadly disease. In fact, when Gniré was 11-years old, she contracted malaria not once but twice.
“I began vomiting and couldn’t attend the full day of school,” Gniré, whose favorite subject is math, explained. Although her body was weak and she felt cold and shaky, Gniré hid her illness from her parents at first. When she fell so ill that she couldn’t make it to school for an entire week, Gniré finally told her parents she was worried she might be really sick.
Her parents immediately took her to the hospital. There, Gniré was diagnosed with malaria.
As 90% of malaria cases occur in Sub-Saharan African communities like Gniré’s, it wasn’t long before she became sick with malaria again. This time, her parents spotted the symptoms earlier. They brought Gniré to the hospital where she received treatment.
As a result of her malaria going untreated for so long, Gniré’s growth has been stunted. While she is sometimes self-conscious because she is smaller than her peers at school, thanks to Save the Children sponsors, Gniré feels more in control of her future. “I am thankful that Save the Children is in my community,” said Gniré. “It means that they care about my health!”
Through Save the Children’s School Health and Nutrition program, Gniré has learned how to help prevent malaria. She also received a mosquito net which now hangs above her bed. “If I could give one gift to every child,” she said, “it would be a mosquito net so that no one else has to get sick.”
World Malaria Day is recognized on April 25. Join Save the Children in fighting malaria on this day and every day. Together, we can help save children from this deadly and preventable disease.
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