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Better Housing Infrastructure To Fight Malaria 

By Solange Tegwi — A housing project aimed at demonstrating how proper architecture and environmental factors can curb malaria spread will soon kick off. It is in this vein that some 250 homes in the Minkoameyos village in the outskirts of Yaounde will be rehabilitated in the near future, according to a statement issued by a UK-based organisation, Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments (ARCHIVE).

The project dubbed “Building Malaria Prevention”, which has an international design has launched a global architectural design competition which it believes would improve the health of many malaria prone communities. The Engagement Officer of ARCHIVE, Geraud Bablon, says, “The competition is open to professionals in Yaounde and across the world. Online registration ends on Friday, July 20.

“Candidates may belong to fields like architecture, public health, engineering, or anything concerning infectious diseases. “After registering they will be required to create a multi-disciplinary team comprising up to six members, either local or international. The teams will summit their ideas with the jury that will select the three winning designs”.

Bablon added that the second-place winner will be rewarded with a 10-day trip to the site, plus airfare and accommodation. The grand winner will get all of this and would take home US Dollar 1000. If the mines are local, they will be awarded a financial value of a 10-day trip in addition to any of the prizes. 

All this could sum up to US dollar 2.500-grand prize. Meanwhile, going by statistics, malaria has been identified as a vital problem in Cameroon, responsible for an estimated 40 percent of deaths of children below the age of five.

According to ARCHIVE, raising a house on stilts and sealing its roof eaves can significantly reduce the incidence of malaria transmission. Bablon explained that the anopheles mosquito which carries the malaria parasite often flies to the ground when feeding and flies upwards when they encounter an obstacle.

*(Siantou University Student on Internship)

First published in The Post print edition no. 01361