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

eRangers Delivered to Ibulanku Health Center

After 2 1/2 long years, the eRangers have been officially delivered to Ibulanku Health Center! SAFE Program Manager Medie Mukalu and Source of the Nile Rotarian Olam Sam traveled with the units from the Entebbe Airport to the health center to ensure their safe arrival.

The launch of the eRanger program is set to officially begin in May. We are so excited!

*Photo credit: Anne Sherwood–www.annesherwood.com

eRangers Arrived!

It’s official–the eRangers are in Uganda. They arrived yesterday. We are still in the process of finalizing transport details, but they should tentatively be transported to Ibulanku Health Center this Friday or next Monday! This is an exciting day for Safe Mothers, Safe Babies—and we extend a hearty “thank you” for everyone who has helped us reach this point. More to follow soon (with pictures).

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day from Safe Mothers, Safe Babies! Today we encourage you to reflect on all the women in your life that makes it what it is today. Without mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, and friends, our lives would be lonely! Thank you to all the special women who have helped us individually and as an organization!
Below are members of Kalalu Women’s Voice, the first Kalalu community-formed club exclusively for women to discuss reproductive health and undertake projects to improve it. In Uganda, International Women’s Day Celebration activities are just wrapping up. The festivities include song and dance performances, KAMEDE men’s club debate about “how many wives and children are the best number to have,” immunizations, malaria education, mosquito net distribution, and other health screenings. Check back in the next week for pictures of the event.

Erin Glueckert in Uganda!

Safe Board Member Erin Glueckert is safely in Uganda! Amongst other things, she will be attending the first “Women’s Day Celebration” that SAFE and Buyanga Sub-County have organized in partnership. It will feature the official launch of KAMEDE (Kalalu Men’s Development), a community-wide debate about the relationship between the number of wives and children and economic viability/health of a family, performances by Kalalu Women’s Group, and a health fair including immunizations, antenatal care, malaria prevention education, and a mosquito net outreach. Check back at the end of next weeks for information on how many people attended and for pictures of the event.

eRangers Arriving: After 2 years of working with local medical professionals and Rotary International Districts #7210 and #9200, the eRangers are arriving this month. For more information on the eRanger Motorcycle Ambulance Program, visit www.safemotherssafebabies.org