Kanda Koné is not feeling well today. He was sick this morning and now has a fever. He sits very quietly. He is waiting to see the village malaria worker in the village square at Deguela, in the Kangaba region of southern Mali.
Fatoumata Traoré sees patients here every day. She is one of 66 MSF-trained village malaria workers in this region. She checks every child in Deguela with a fever for malaria and treats simple cases of the disease free of charge.
In the rainy season the streets and paths become flooded and many people in this area become effectively trapped in their villages and cannot access medical care in the health centers. Unfortunately this is the season when the mosquitoes that transmit the malaria parasites are most active.
Five-year-old Kadijatou is feeling feverish too. She cries as she awaits her turn. Like Kanda and many other children in Deguela, she has suffered from malaria a few times already this year. Malaria is the most common disease in children under five in Mali, and the most frequent cause of death for children in this age group.
Fifteen minutes later, the result is in. The two red lines indicate that Kadijatou has malaria. Kanda’s test is also positive. But because the children were able to access treatment immediately, their chances of a quick recovery are good.