Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets Prevent Childhood Death

A child sits under a malaria netEighteen-month-old Sarah Nalubega used to fall sick every three to four weeks.

Her mother, Caroline Nakitende, had just returned from Kakooge Health Center III where Sarah was admitted with a severe fever when she learned that insecticide treated mosquito nets were being distributed in her village. Joining the waiting line, she received a net from Amref Health Africa-supported Village Health Team members.

Caroline, 28, lives in Nakasete village, Kakooge sub county, Nakasongola district in Uganda. She had already lost one child at the tender age of one to malaria and was very worried that her fourth child, Nalubega, would succumb to the same disease. But since Caroline started using the treated net, her daughter has not fallen sick.

Ninety five per cent of Uganda has high malaria rates and children under five years of age are most affected by the disease, especially in conflict-affected areas. With an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 people dying every year, young Nalubega could easily be among those affected by the disease. Yet malaria is preventable. Long lasting insecticide treated nets, used regularly by young children, can reduce the overall risk of dying by 20 per cent and clinical malaria episodes by 50 per cent.

Between July 2012 and September 2012, Amref Health Africa, through its Maternal and Child Health Project, bought and gave out 10,323 nets to children under five years of age and pregnant women.

"I now have a balanced diet, better clothing and more money for educating my children and dependants." -Caroline Nakitende, Recipient of an Amref Health Africa-Distributed Malaria Net, Uganda

With time and resources saved, which were previously taken up by looking after her sick children, Caroline is able take part in income generating projects, such as piggery, leading to a better life for her family: "I now have a balanced diet, better clothing and more money for educating my children and dependants," she says proudly.