Project Mosquito Nets and its Impact
The Power of Love team along with the beneficiary families, would like to say a “big thank you” to you for helping prevent malaria, keeping children healthy, and improving school attendance.
Our vision and goal: Our vision is to create a malaria free world in the next few years. Our goal is to reduce the incidence of malaria in Zambia. To help achieve this goal, we have been able to provide over 33,000 nets and education on malaria prevention in Kenya and Zambia over teh last 11 years. In 2018 alone, we provided 8,500 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education to vulnerable families in Zambia.
A malaria free world: Zambia has set a lofty goal of eliminating malaria by 2021. According to USAID, this goal is ambitious but within reach. To help Zambia achieve this goal, we plan to provide 10,000-15,000 mosquito bed nets in 2019.
Provision of bed nets and education has gone a long way in reducing the incidence of malaria in our communities. Beneficiary families:
- have increased knowledge about proper use and storage of nets,
- learn where and when to go in for re-treatment of nets,
- need fewer visits to hospitals/clinics due to better health,
- fewer cases of malaria,
- see an increase in school attendance due to improved health of the children,
- lower mortality, and
- have a higher quality of life and general well-being.
We will continue to assess the impact of our malaria prevention program with follow-up studies in 2019.
Follow-up Studies to Assess the Effectiveness of Nets
Follow-up studies: To assess the impact of this program, we got responses from over 1200 beneficiaries via interviews and focus groups discussions in December 2017, February 2018, and October 2018. Here are some heartwarming numbers from the field:
- No cases of malaria were reported amongst families in our sample.
- More than 90% of recipients knew how to hang and use the nets properly.
- Only 2% of families had the nets torn or damaged three months after use.
- 98% of families sampled had improved knowledge regarding malaria prevention, proper storage, maintenance, and re-treatment of nets.
- On average three children were sleeping under a net.
- Almost all families sampled indicated that they could use additional nets.
- All families were grateful and would like this program to continue in 2019.
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.
Need for Nets
Beneficiary communities, four urban and three rural, were carefully selected based on need and the prevalence of malaria. The urban communities are Matero, Garden, Lusaka West and Bauleni in Lusaka. The rural areas are Kapiri Mposhi, Lwashimba and Kafue (located 115 miles north and 30 miles south of Lusaka) respectively. In all seven communities the need for nets is huge as most residents live on less than $2 per day, defined as extreme poverty by the UN, and cannot afford to purchase nets. Many areas in these communities are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, due to water logging and poor sanitation leading to a high incidence of malaria. Second, these communities have a high incidence of malaria, HIV, AIDS, and TB due to high co-infection rates.
A malaria-free world
A net can sleep up to four young children or two adults. This implies that a net which costs less than $5, can keep 3-4 children malaria free, healthy and in school. In the case of an HIV+ child, malaria can be fatal. Since a net can last up to two years, it costs just a few pennies to save lives of children and/or to keep them malaria free. We are confident that the UN sustainable development goal of ending malaria by 2030 can be reached and a malaria free world is within reach.
Thanks for your caring and dedication to prevent malaria in Zambia.