Jacob, Field Operations Manager
Jacob is on the front line of the fight against malaria in Tanzania. As Field Operations Manager for the Tanzania Communication and Development Centre (TCDC), he has spent the last four years monitoring the effectiveness of the project’s approach to malaria education in stamping out the disease across Tanzania.
This includes using radio and television to help promote malaria messages and sending mobile cinemas and road shows into communities to inform and educate. The TCDC also runs a volunteer programme training Community Change Agents who focus on engaging groups, schools and teachers in the fight against malaria.
"I FIND WHAT I DO REWARDING BECAUSE I KNOW THE MORE EFFORT I PUT IN, IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER I'M SAVING THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND PREGNANT MOTHERS."
Jacob knows it’s vital that information about malaria treatment and prevention reaches all sections of society because using a net for sleeping is only part of the battle. It’s just as important that communities know they must clear pools of stagnant water to avoid them becoming mosquito breeding sites, trust the diagnostic tests and complete full courses of prescribed treatments.
With the support of the Comic Relief and GSK partnership, the TCDC have been working to ensure people are aware of how malaria spreads and why treatment should be sought.
“We’re engaging people by working with local health workers. We call them Community Change Agents. And they’re doing a great job working closely with the communities day-to-day.”
Community change agents interact with women’s groups, groups of farmers, fishermen, tailors and others in their neighbourhoods. They educate people about malaria prevention, testing and treatment and encourage them to talk to others.
Jacob knows how important prevention is. “We want to make sure that people understand the benefits of preventing, rather than just treating, malaria. And inspire people to take action and appreciate the power of fighting collectively.”