Can Malaria be eliminated from Zambia: Zambia has set a lofty goal of eliminating malaria by 2021, even though malaria transmission rates continue to be high in all parts of the country. According to the USAID, this goal is ambitious, but within reach.
Our response: To help Zambia achieve its goal of eliminating malaria by 2021, we revised our goal and plan on providing 8,500 malaria bed nets (up from our previous goal of 6000) in 2018. Provision of 8,500 nets will benefit 17,000 adults or 36,000 children as each net can sleep two adults or four young children. In addition, education on malaria and information regarding the proper storage, use, and re-treatment of nets is provided. According to the World Bank, sleeping under a net is one of the most cost-effective methods of preventing malaria. Regular use of nets helps keep families’ malaria free and healthy. Also, if children, especially HIV+ and children under five years of age, stay malaria free, their health and immune system is strengthened.
Nets Provision to date in 2018: We were able to provide 6,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on malaria to date in 2018. Beneficiary communities, two rural and two urban, were carefully selected based on the prevalence of malaria and ability of residents to purchase nets. The urban areas are in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia; the rural areas are Kapiri Mposhi and Lwashimba, located 115 miles north of Lusaka. In all four communities the need for nets is huge as most residents live on less than $2 per day - defined as extreme poverty by the UN.
Effectiveness of nets provided: Follow-up studies with beneficiaries of nets indicate that: (i) more than 90% of recipients knew how to hang and use the nets properly, (ii) only 2% of families had the nets torn or damaged three months after use, (iii) none of the families contracted malaria, (iv) 98% of families sampled had improved knowledge regarding malaria and re-treatment of nets, and (v) on average three children were sleeping under a net. In addition, all families wanted us to continue to provide them with nets before the two malaria seasons every year.
These findings confirm WHO's results that sleeping under a good quality mosquito bed net is one of the cheapest and most effective methods of malaria prevention. This is especially true for populations vulnerable to malaria such as children and adults living with HIV, older people, HIV+ pregnant women, young children, and people infected with TB.
A few pennies can save lives: A single net which costs less than $5, can keep three children malaria free, healthy and in school. Since a net can last up to two years, it costs just a few pennies to keep children malaria free and in school.
We need your help: Help us raise funds to provide an additional 2,500 nets this year. Your donation of $10 will provide two nets that can prevent malaria for a family of two adults and four young children. Every dollar counts and helps keep orphans and vulnerable children malaria free.
Thanks for keeping orphans and vulnerable children free of malaria and in school.