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33, The Tanzania Communication and Development Center 

Aziza poses with her child

Aziza’s firstborn died from malaria when the infant was only two months old. It happened suddenly – he started to get convulsions at 3pm, and by 10am the next morning he was dead. The little boy, named Nurdin, was in a lot of pain and Aziza felt helpless to save him.

“I was very sad as he felt a lot of pain and I did not know what was happening. Now, because of that experience, I’m taking all the precautions. Any sign of fever, I wake up and take the child to the hospital immediately. It’s because of that shock I had in the past with my firstborn.”

She makes sure her house and the surrounding areas are clean and any long grasses are cut to remove any mosquito breeding sites. All her children as well as herself and her husband sleep under a net. But malaria still affects them constantly.

“At some point I question what’s really happening because my children still get malaria. I wonder if I’m not tucking in the net properly, maybe in the middle of the night the net is falling out of the mattress? I don’t really know what happens but the kids are getting malaria.”

Just a few days before meeting Comic Relief in December 2016, her youngest son, Ibrahim, received treatment for malaria. The disease drains the family finances as money that her husband earns should be used to buy groceries, but often ends up being used for medical treatment instead.

“Even in the evening when they have dinner, there are mosquitos around they bite my baby and I don’t really know what to do to protect my child. I do get confused with the fact that the mosquitos are around in the evening as I cannot walk around with a mosquito net, so it becomes really complicated.”

Aziza is one of thousands of Tanzanians that would benefit from more knowledge and training on the prevention of Malaria. The Tanzania Communication and Development Center is a project that has received funding to combat malaria thanks to a partnership between Comic Relief and GSK. It is on the frontline of the fight against malaria in Tanzania and uses a multi-pronged approach - training volunteers to go into schools and communities to educate students and residents and sending mobile video units into communities to spread messages about treatment and prevention.