The kids in Ebanga, Cameroon are scared of rain.
The rainy season brings fevers, chills and too often death as malaria-transmitting mosquitoes thrive in the stagnant puddles that pock the unpaved roads in and around this village.
Unlike many childhood monsters, the malaria menace is real. Malaria kills a child every minute.
If a child gets malaria in Cameroon, the family has few options. There is 1 health provider for every 1,000 people in the country. A health center can be days away by foot – an arduous journey when a child is suffering a life threatening fever and exhaustion.
Even then treatment may not be affordable or even available.
That’s where Atangana Manga comes in. He is a PSI-trained life changer who is fighting malaria in Ebanga. This charismatic man, whose voice resonates like a preacher, makes his living as a farmer, but has a calling in healthcare.
“I have little kids who often suffer from malaria,” says Atangana. “I am proud to be able to treat my family as well as my community. Wherever I go, patients say, ‘He’s our doctor.’ It makes me proud.”
PSI trained him and 2,200 other volunteer life changers in Cameroon. They treat malaria and other common childhood illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea free of charge.
Children in Atangana’s village are now nine times more likely to receive treatment than in other villages with no trained community health workers.
Watch his story below.