Empowering Mothers, Protecting Infants: GDH Initiative Tackles Malaria in Nigerian Refugee Settlements

Empowering Mothers: GESSI Development and Humanitarian Initiative's First Meeting of January 2024 in Ukende Refugee Settlement


In a humble yet impactful initiative, the GESSI Development and Humanitarian Initiative conducted its first meeting of January 2024 with a focus group comprising breastfeeding mothers in the Ukende Refugee Settlement, situated in Ogoja, Cross River State, Nigeria. The gathering aimed to address the health concerns of mothers aged 16 to 40 years, each with a child between zero to one year old. The group consisted of ten women, three male children, and seven female children.

Setting the Stage:

The Ukende Refugee Settlement is home to a diverse refugees, and the GESSI initiative recognizes the unique challenges faced by mothers within this population. With a commitment to holistic well-being, the organization chose to focus on a prevalent health issue—malaria. Malaria poses a significant threat in many regions, and refugees often face heightened vulnerabilities due to living conditions and limited access to healthcare.

Educating and Sensitizing Mothers:

The meeting kicked off with an informative session on malaria, covering its causes, symptoms, and preventive measures. The GESSI team, composed of dedicated professionals and volunteers, employed an interactive approach to ensure that the information was accessible and engaging for the attendees.

Causes of Malaria:

The mothers were enlightened on the various causes of malaria, emphasizing the role of mosquitoes in transmitting the disease. The GESSI team highlighted the importance of understanding the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and implementing preventive measures to reduce their presence in and around living spaces.

Symptoms of Malaria:

The session continued with a discussion on the symptoms of malaria, ensuring that the mothers could identify potential cases promptly. By recognizing symptoms such as fever, chills, and body aches, the mothers are better equipped to seek timely medical attention, a crucial step in managing malaria effectively.

Preventing Malaria:

The core focus of the meeting was on preventive strategies. The GESSI team provided practical tips on how mothers could protect themselves and their infants from malaria. This included the use of bed nets, mosquito repellents, and environmental hygiene practices. Additionally, the initiative distributed mosquito nets to the attending mothers, ensuring they had a tangible tool to enhance their preventive efforts.

Empowering the Community:

Beyond the information shared, the GESSI Development and Humanitarian Initiative emphasized the importance of community empowerment. By equipping mothers with knowledge and resources, the organization aims to create a ripple effect, fostering a community-wide commitment to health and well-being.


The GESSI initiative's first meeting of January 2024 in the Ukende Refugee Settlement was a resounding success, marking a crucial step toward improving the health outcomes of mothers and their infants. Through education, sensitization, and the distribution of essential resources, GESSI is making a meaningful impact in the lives of those who need it most. As the initiative continues its mission, the hope is that these efforts will contribute to a healthier and more resilient community, laying the foundation for a brighter future.