Malaria and Mosquito Nets

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted by female mosquitoes that afflicts nearly 250 million people every year, mostly in the developing world. It causes high fevers and flu-like symptoms, anemia, and in the event of cerebral malaria can also cause seizures and death. Especially for young children, pregnant women, and the elderly, malaria can be deadly; every year, around 1 million people die from the disease.

As awful as malaria is, it is also much easier to prevent than it is to treat. Malaria is becoming resistant to many of the former first-line drugs of choice; medication is also hard to obtain, especially in rural villages, and can be expensive. Conversely, mosquito nets hang over a person’s bed while he/she sleeps to prevent an infected mosquito from biting its next host. Because the majority of malaria transmission happens between the hours of 1 AM and 4 AM when people are sleeping, mosquito nets can reduce malaria by up to 90%.

To date, Safe Mothers, Safe Babies has distributed 456 mosquito nets. Fortunately, the Rotary International Grant that helped us obtain the eRangers is also funding the purchase of 1,500 more mosquito nets. SAFE Program Manager Medie will be traveling to a distribution point with Source of the Nile Rotarian, Olam Sam, to purchase the nets TODAY!

SAFE Mosquito Net Outreach held in January 2009 in Iganga.
Photographic credit: Anne Sherwood–www.annesherwood.com