Project Mosquito Net
Over 300,000 children die from malaria every year in Africa, even though malaria is both preventable and curable. In fact, more children die from malaria than from any other disease in Africa. In addition, many more children contract malaria and continue to suffer from its impact over their entire lifetime.
Our vision is to eradicate malaria and to reduce malaria deaths to zero in Zambia in the next five years. Our goal is to to reduce the incidence of malaria and to reduce malaria deaths to zero in the communities we serve in the next three years. Read more for impact of our malaria prevention program in Zambia.
Is Malaria still a Problem? Globally, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria and 445,000 deaths due to malaria in 2016. Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and this disease is the leading cause of death for children under five. Over 300,000 children die needlessly in Africa every year from malaria which is easily preventable and treatable. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to malaria. In addition, malaria is the single biggest drag on Africa’s economy with estimated losses of $12 billion a year (a loss in GDP growth of about 1.3% per year) due to increased healthcare costs, lost ability to work and effects on tourism. If we can eradicate malaria we can save thousands of lives and provide a boost to African economies.
So how do we eradicate malaria? According to the WHO, sleeping under a net is one of the most effective ways to prevent malaria. In the US, malaria has been eradicated and it is possible to eradicate it worldwide.
"If you put plain old bed nets around and do it properly and spray them with insecticide, you can get rid of half the malaria deaths in Africa, and that's at least a million a year."
— Michael Specter, writer for the New Yorker magazine
According to the World Health Organization, 90% of families with a bed net use it. However, only 50% of families in sub-Saharan African sleep beneath a mosquito bed net. This highlights the need to provide more nets to families in Sub-Saharan Africa; an estimated 230 million bed nets are needed in 2015-2017. Also, we cannot afford to reduce coverage as a decrease in LLIN (long lasting insecticide treated nets) coverage can lead to a major resurgence of the disease, reversing the gains made over the past several years.
Over the last ten years, Project Mosquito Nets has been able to provide more than 24,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets to children and families in Zambia and Kenya. As a result, we are seeing fewer cases of malaria and a significant improvement in the health of pregnant women and children. With improved health, children are able to attend school regularly and women are better able to take care of their families.
In the last seven years, we have been able to provide 14,800 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on malaria prevention to children and families in Zambia. These nets helped prevent malaria for an estimated 59,200 children (as each net can sleep up to four young children) or 29,600 adults (as each net can sleep two adults). Read more about our Malaria Prevention Days here: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013.
Beneficiaries are children and families in our pediatric HIV care, Microfinance, and Safe Park programs, and members of the communities of Matero and Kapiri-Mposhi in Zambia. Beneficiary families are identified with the help of several community based organizations such as Churches and government health clinics. Beneficiaries are HIV positive children, children under the age of five, pregnant women, nursing moms, and adults who are HIV+ and/or have TB. These sections of the population are most vulnerable to malaria as co-infection rates between HIV, malaria and TB are high due to a weaker immune system.
Each distribution of nets is followed by a post distribution study to assess the impact of our malaria prevention activities each year. These studies assess the health of the beneficiary families, if the nets are being used every night, maintained and stored properly, and re-treated every six months. Results of a study to assess the effectiveness of malaria prevention activities are here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.
Project Mosquito Nets provides more than 4000 long lasting insecticide nets and education in prevention of malaria in Zambia every year. Every summer, residents of the community are invited to attend Malaria Prevention Day activities in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia. Activites during the day include:
- information on the impact of malaria, especially on HIV+ children and pregnant women
- how to identify the signs/symptoms of malaria
- instruction on the removal of mosquito breeding grounds through drainage maintenance
- demonstrations on how to correctly use and maintain nets
- how to clean and store nets
- how to re-treat nets every six months
- provision of nets
Project Mosquito Nets was launched in 2005 as a joint effort between the Power of Love Foundation, the Orange County based non-profit Be the Cause (www.bethecause.org) and the Akado Medical Clinic located in Mbita, Kenya. Since then, the project has grown significantly and we have been able to provide more than 25,000 mosquito nets in Zambia and Kenya. For the last six years we have concentrated our malaria prevention program in Zambia. At this time the Kenya program has been discontinued.
We are raising funds to provide 5,000-7,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) in 2018. Please donate generously. Your donation will go a long way in preventing malaria and keeping children malaria free and in school. As always, 100% of funds raised go toward program costs in Zambia and none is used for overhead costs.
Thanks for helping keep children malaria free and in school.