Power of Love's Project Mosquito Nets program provides long lasting insecticide treated bed nets and education on malaria prevention to women and children in Zambia. At the last distribution in September 2013, 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets were distributed to 920 families. The beneficiaries included women and children, people living with HIV, AIDS, and tuberculosis, as well as pregnant mothers – segments of the population most vulnerable to malaria.
In December 2013, we reached out to beneficiary families to assess the impact of nets usage and to learn if the nets were being used as demonstrated during distribution activities. Here is the summary of our findings:
- The provision of 1000 nets benefitted 1476 people directly as each net was being shared by 2-3 small children or two adults
- Out of the 1476 beneficiaries, only 31 people (24 children, and seven women) contracted malaria and were treated
- As a result of the education on prevention of malaria and demonstrations prior to the distribution of nets, most beneficiaries (including older children) had increased knowledge of malaria, its signs and symptoms, how to prevent it, and about usage of nets
- Out of the 920 homes that were monitored, 116 households did not know that the nets can be re-treated every 6-12 months. In addition, 147 nets were mended as they were torn during use. These families have been educated on the proper use, maintenance, and re-treatment of nets
- The health of all children has improved as seen by an improvement in their weight and CD4 counts
- As a result of better health of the children, there was an improvement in school attendance and performance
- We discovered that most of the nets had become dirty due to the smoke in the houses. The beneficiaries suggested that it could be better if the nets could be made in colors other than white in future. We have made a note and will send this suggestion to the supplier of our nets.