Malaria nets save lives!

We are in coordination with African governments to determine which countries will implement measles and malaria campaigns. This is based on the prevalence and spread of the disease, the number of years since the last campaign, and the interest and preparedness of each country. Such coordination is necessary to conduct effective and efficient campaigns as well as to ensure sustainability. From 2002 to 2006, 12 countries have been chosen to conduct measles and malaria campaigns.

The planning process can take six to nine months. A country can also choose to integrate other health interventions such as insecticide-treated bed nets. When a country decides to distribute bed nets during its measles campaign, the local ministry of health determines where to purchase the bed nets and who will be responsible for bed net storage, distribution, social mobilization, and follow-up surveying. Distribution of bed nets and the education on their use is integrated in the child health campaign. Children travel to vaccination posts where they receive the measles vaccine and other medicines, as well the insecticide-treated bed net. Health workers and volunteers provide the immunizations and educate children and their families on the use of the bed nets, while observers from various agencies and organizations monitor the activities of the campaign and provide support to the health workers and volunteers as needed.

The evaluation of the bed net distribution generally takes place just prior to the rainy season, providing an opportunity to re-educate families on the use of the bed nets as they enter the time of year during which mosquitoes tend to be more prevalent. Sending Nets. Saving Lives This entire process of purchasing and distributing insecticide-treated bed nets to children under the age of five, as well as providing education and follow-up surveying on their use, is accomplished at the cost of just $11 per bed net. Although $11 for per bed net may not sound like much, the cost makes them out of reach for most people at risk of malaria in Africa, where many people survive on less than $1 a day. Malaria has been brought under control and even eliminated in many parts of Asia, Europe and the Americas. Yet in Africa, malaria infections have actually increased over the last three decades. Malaria is a leading cause of death of children in Africa, killing nearly one million children each year. Every day 3,000 children die from the disease.