Market Systems Facilitation Taps on Village Poultry Vaccinators to Join the Fight Against Malaria

Burkinabe village vaccinators pose as a group with mosquito repellent ointment.

In Burkina Faso, a silent menace lurks. The world’s deadliest predator—the tiny, unassuming mosquito—is a harbinger of disease, spreading malaria with lethal efficiency. According to the Severe Malaria Observatory, Burkina Faso grapples with staggering numbers: nearly 12 million presumed and confirmed malaria cases in 2022 alone, claiming an estimated 16,669 lives.

“A sick poultry producer can’t produce,” say Djibril Compaore, underscoring the relationship between health and productivity. Compaore is Tanager’s poultry coordinator for the Soutenir l’Exploitation Famaliales pour Lancer l’Elevage des Volailles et Valoriser l’Economie Rurale 2 (SELEVER 2) project. The SELEVER 2 project seeks to empower Burkina’s poultry sector, with a vision of inclusive transformation that will breathe life into communities and livelihoods.

Compaore’s words echo a fundamental truth: When individuals thrive, so do their communities. Healthy poultry producers become engines of prosperity, driving economic growth and offering hope to their communities.

The Role of Village Poultry Vaccinators

Now poultry producers have help in the fight against malaria: MAIA, a mosquito-repellent ointment being sold through a social enterprise, Maïa Africa.

The journey of MAIA to the doorsteps of rural communities was not without its challenges, however. Rural distribution posed a formidable obstacle—until Tanager stepped in.

“We connected Maïa Africa with AVEAB, the association of volunteer poultry village vaccinators supported by our SELEVER 2 project,” explains Compaore.

Three village vaccinators in Burkina Faso with mosquito repellent ointment Maia.These poultry village vaccinators traverse dusty paths and winding trails to bring essential services to poultry producers. Armed with MAIA, they have become champions of prevention, blending their expertise in poultry training and community empowerment initiatives with education on how people can avoid malaria through the use of MAIA.

Each sale of MAIA not only puts a powerful tool in the hands of villagers but also serves as a lifeline for the vaccinators themselves. With every bottle sold, a percentage of the profit flows back to the village vaccinator and to AVEAB, helping to ensure the association’s future sustainability.

Maïa Africa experienced initial supply challenges, but once stock came in, village vaccinators stepped up. The partnership began in July 2023. Vaccinators sold out the entire available stock of 23,000 units in four months.

As the sun sets on another day in Burkina Faso, the mosquito faces a new adversary. Village vaccinators are forging a path toward a future where malaria is no longer a threat, where health and prosperity reign supreme, and where communities thrive in the face of adversity.