The Malaria Stories of a Semi-Urban Community in West Africa

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And the people declare…

We the people of Umu- Eke, want to make this declaration before we tell our malaria story. And that is, mosquitoes that live in our homes and workplaces don’t pay us rent. In fact they have become terrorists, ruining our health with malaria disease; killing our children mostly the Under 5s, killing our pregnant wives, our nursing mothers, students; making our men weak such that they can no longer work and create wealth for the community.

In fact, mosquitoes are ruining our lives, our community. They live in our homes, community health centre, town hall, schools, motor parks, markets, our gutters, potholes on our bad roads, in our environment. They bite us with their sting, suck our blood. In return they put something, the parasite plasmodium; in our blood that causes malaria, Why?  Mosquitoes. You are cheating us. You live with us as if you are members of our families yet you are killing us. The more we fight you, the more you deal with us. Tiny insects, yet you are so powerful.

In fact we don’t know who to fight now, whether you, or the malaria you cause. Oh! Mosquitoes, you have become terrorists. Government tries to roll you back instead of killing you, yet you roll forward unstoppable. Now you are rolling over everybody in our community killing us.

Government rolls you back one step, you roll forward two steps. You mosquitoes, you are so wicked. You exploit our mistakes. We don’t clear our gutters. You land there and live comfortably. Four days later, you breed children in hundreds. You do same in un-cleared bushes, in pot holes on our bad roads, in stagnant water, in abandoned containers.

We pass by, we don’t see you. But you see us. Within one week, your babies mature in large numbers. From your hideouts, you invade our homes, live with us, refuse to pay rent. You bite us and fly away. You are terrorists. You increase in numbers fast, and decrease our numbers even faster. We fight back with many ammunition;  mosquito fleets, coils, nets, insecticides, drugs, etc, yet you are winning the war. We get re-enforcement with combination therapies of medicines; but you have refused to pack out of our community even with quit notice.

Your only weapon is your sting. It appears you are winning the war for now. You are happy terrorizing us, but we are fighting back with more ammunition. We will soon begin to kill you in large numbers. We must win this war with more tanks and air raids if that will be possible, otherwise our community, nay sub-saharan Africa is doomed. We are building a coalition of forces against you. Governments, communities, NGOs, foreign partners, donor agencies, treated nets, combination therapies and more are coming to wage the mother of all battles against mosquitoes and malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. They are coming, but the tempo is slow.

Just watch out mosquitoes. We are coming on the offensive soon. Even if you decide to pay rent, we will not accept it. You must die, all of you mosquitoes, or pack out of our community with all your properties. This is the new deal. We must win this war. It may take a long time, but we shall win the war against you tiny insects, so small, yet so dangerous. This is the first of our Malaria Story. Dear reader, by the time you go through the story series, you will understand why Sub-Saharan Africa is losing the war against malaria.

(4 April 2012)


Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com

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