Project Mosquito Net
Project Mosquito Net is POL's initiative to provide insecticide treated bed nets to children and pregnant mothers in Zambia. The project began in 2005 as a joint effort between the Power of Love Foundation, the Orange County based non-profit Be the Caus (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 10,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets to women and children in Zambia and Kenya. At this time, our goal is to raise funds to provide 3000-5000 mosquito nets, and education on prevention of malaria to women and children vulnerable to malaria in Zambia.
In Africa, over 700,000 children die needlessly every year from Malaria which is a disease that is easily preventable. In fact, more children die from Malaria than any other disease in the world. In addition, many more children contract malaria and suffer from its effects over their entire lifetime. So how do we eradicate malaria? One child and one mosquito bed net at a time. In the US, malaria has been eradicated. It is possible to eradicate it worldwide.
We need your help do this and as always 100% of the funds raised for this project go directly to purchasing and transporting long lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLIN's).
"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
Health Education Day 2011
On January 6, 2011, 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets were provided to people vulnerable to Malaria in Lusaka, Zambia. View photos of this event. This distribution was made possible by funds provided by donors and we would like to thank our supporters who made this event possible. As a result of this distribution we are seeing a reduced incidence of Malaria and improved health amongst women and children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. Also, as a result of better health the children are able to attend school regularly and the women are better able to take care of their families.
Need for Mosquito Nets
The Matero compound is one of the largest compounds in Lusaka, with a population of over 75,000 people. Residents of this compound are vulnerable to Malaria due to the existence of shallow wells, and backyard gardens which are perfect breeding grounds for the malaria larvae. In addition, a high rate of HIV prevalence (leads to a suppressed immune system) makes the people highly vulnerable to Malaria. The Government Clinic in this compound gets hundreds of Malaria cases as the residents do not have knowledge about Malaria prevention and cannot afford nets. As a result, Malaria is one of the biggest killers of children in Zambia.
Distribution of Nets in Lusaka
On January 6, 2011, a third distribution of Malaria bed nets was organized by the Power of Love Foundation in Zambia. This time 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets were distributed as follows:
1. 155 nets were given to Churches in the area,
2. 315 nets were provided to clinics and our partner organizations in Matero compound,
3. 250 nets were provided to women and children enrolled in Power of Love’s Community Care program and women in Power of Love’s Micro-loans programs, and
4. 280 nets were provided to HIV positive people from the community. Priority was given to pregnant women, nursing moms, and HIV positive children.
The day’s activities began with singing followed by an opening prayer, introduction of the guests by Esther Shumba, and a welcome speech by one of the Board members. The Board member emphasized the importance of the distribution of nets in the community of Matero. In addition, she explained the need for proper use (for example the need to hang them safely every morning after use) and maintenance of nets. She explained that the nets should be re-treated with chemicals after 12 months and that treatment kits could be purchased from the local pharmacy. She advised beneficiaries about proper care of backyard gardens and shallow wells, and the need to seal breeding areas of mosquito larvae in order to see a reduction in the incidence of Malaria in the future.
Attendees and Guests – More than 800 people attended the distribution day event. Representatives of the Government Clinics and Churches received nets and distributed them from their respective locations. The Zambia Police Service for the community of Matero was invited and received nets for their support group. Other invitees included representatives from local clinics, St. John Ambulance, Ward Development committee, and Board members of the Matero Care Center.
The day’s activities closed with a vote of thanks by the head Nurse, Sister Jacqueline Konkosholo, at the local Clinic. She thanked Power of Love Foundation for the continued support provided to the recipients of the nets and Matero community as a whole.
Profile of the Beneficiaries
The direct beneficiaries of the mosquito nets were children who are HIV positive (with most born HIV positive) and being cared for by their grandmothers, single parents or a relative in the extended family and expecting moms. Children under the age of five and those who are HIV positive are highly vulnerable to Malaria.
Criteria for the Beneficiaries
Priority was given to children (all are HIV positive) enrolled in Power of Love’s Community Care program, women in Power of Love’s micro loans programs, HIV positive children in the community, children below 5 years of age who are HIV positive, pregnant women, nursing moms, and people who have TB and/or HIV/AIDS as co-infection rates between HIV and TB and Malaria are very high. A list of 1000 beneficiaries was prepared and they were invited to the event so that t they could receive the nets.
Impact of the Distribution of Nets
The distribution of nets helps 2000 people directly as two people can sleep under a net and several hundred more people in the community indirectly as they learn about Malaria prevention from the recipients. We expect that the use of these nets will reduce the incidence of malaria in the community, and fewer deaths will be recorded.
Post Distribution Survey
We will carry out a post-distribution survey in March 2011, to assess the impact of this distribution. Recipients of nets will be asked to answer questions regarding proper usage and maintenance of nets, and also the impact on their health. The purpose of this study will be to assess the impact of the distribution on the number of cases of Malaria in the Malaria season in 2011 (typically runs from January to May), if the health of children has improved, and if there is an increase in school attendance.
Plans for 2012
The January distribution was followed by another distrbution of 1000 mosquito nets in October 2011. However, the need for nets is much higher, (as a large number of uninvited guests turned up during our last two distributions) hoping to receive a net. We were able to provide nets only to people on our list and this led to disappointment for those who did receive nets. At this time we are raising funds to distribute an additional 3000-5000 mosquito nets in Zambia in 2012. Please donate generously as every dolalr goes a long way in keeping the children malaria free, in school and learning.
Project Mosquito Net Launched in Zambia - Health Education Day 2010
Project Mosquito Net was launched in Lusaka, Zambia on April 21, 2010. The event was attended by over a 500 people including dignitaries from the Copmead/Jons hospice, Government Clinics, the District Health Management Committee, Rotary Club of Nkwazi, and St. Johns Ambulance. It was an open event for the community. View photos of this event »
At the event, 500 mosquito nets were distributed to 5 groups of people as follows:
(i) 200 nets were provided to care givers of the HIV positive children who are enrolled in Power of Love’s pediatric AIDS program.
(ii) 135 nets were provided to pregnant women from various local Clinics, Churches, and the community.
(iii) 95 nets were provided to children under 5 years of age, and
(iv) 70 nets were provided to people living with TB or HIV/AIDS.
Activities During Health Education Day 2010
The activities carried out during the day commenced with a prayer, speech from the Guest of Honor. In his speech the Guest of Honor, briefly described Power of Love’s work in the Matero compound and the importance of preventing Malaria by using long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) as Malaria can be fatal in an area with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS (especially for children less than 5 years and pregnant women).
This was followed by a demonstration on the treatment of the mosquito nets, and a health talk on prevention of malaria via proper use of mosquito nets, drainage maintenance, filling and removal of breeding sites for mosquitoes, and the right way to set up and use the net. The speaker emphasised that ” prevention is better than cure”
All participants learned about the proper use of nets, and prevention of Malaria day while being entertained by songs and dances. Health Education Day 2010 closed with a vote of thanks from one of the beneficiaries.
Criteria for the Beneficiaries
The selection of beneficiaries was as follows:
(i) Care givers of children who are HIV positive and cannot afford to buy a net.
(ii) Pregnant women who cannot afford to purchase a net. Clinics, Churches, and our community partners were consulted.
(iii) Children under five who are HIV positive or are infected with TB.
(iv) People who are infected with TB and HIV.
Impact of Malaria in Africa
Malaria is Africa's leading cause of under-five mortality. Every year, 700,000 children under 5 years of age die of Malaria. In addition, a total of one million people die of Malaria every year – a disease that is easily preventable and curable.
Malaria can be prevented by:
- Boiling water for drinking, and
- Using LLIN’s (long lasting insecticide-treated nets). LLIN’s are considered one of the best means of protection against the mosquito-borne disease. Regular use can reduce deaths from Malaria by 50%, yet fewer than 5% of African children sleep under one.
Most of the children provided with nets were HIV positive at birth and are cared for by their grandmothers, single parents or extended families. For an HIV positive child, contracting Malaria could lead to a severe health risk or prove fatal. Further, women are four times more likely to get sick and twice as likely to die from Malaria if they are pregnant. Most of the women are unemployed, widowed or a single parent. Lastly, due to the high co-infection between TB, Malaria and HIV, a person who is HIV positive is more prone to Malaria and if treatment is not provided in a timely manner the disease could be fatal.
Need For Nets in Matero Compound, Lusaka
The Matero compound has a high need for distribution of mosquito nets as:
(i) There are a lot of shallow wells and sewerage ponds and this has made the area more prone to breeding of mosquitoes.
(ii) Many houses have backyard gardens to grow vegetables (due to the high prices of food), and these are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
(iii) Due to the high unemployment levels, and prostitution in the area, a lot of people especially women, children and girls are prone to get infected by HIV.
The Government does provide free mosquito nets to pregnant women and children less than five years (with proof of age). However, the number of nets provided by the Government, is far less than the need for nets in the area.
Impact of the Nets Distribution and Follow-Up
As a result of use of the long lasting insecticide treated nets we expect that:
(i) We expect fewer cases of Malaria in the Matero compound.
(ii) We expect that fewer children will need drugs for Malaria.
We will be conducting post distribution analyses to measure the impact of the distribution.