Monday, January 28, 2008

Mission Monday: Nets Can Save Lives!

This idea was passed along to me by Diana's mom, Lisa!
In countries such as Africa, malaria is a serious concern. Every year, 515 million people get malaria. Of these, between one and three million people will die from the disease. The majority of the people who die from it are young children, whose small bodies cannot fight it off as well. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, and the majority of mosquito bites occur at night when people are sleeping. People often don't have glass or screens to cover their windows, so bugs just fly in and out at night.
Malaria can be treated with drugs, if it is caught early. However, in very poor countries, most people do not go rushing to the doctor at the first sign of illness. Going to the doctor is very expensive, plus it causes people to miss work, so people tend to wait until they are very, very ill before they ask for help.
There is no vaccine for malaria. However, there is a very simple way of preventing malaria. Special mosquito nets, which are treated with insecticide, can be hung over a bed or sleeping space. The net prevents insects from getting to the people underneath them, and the insecticide also keeps insects out of the general area, so even people in the room who aren't actually under the net are safe! In fact, if many people in a community own these nets, the nets can protect a whole community!
These nets are made and distributed by Nothing But Nets, and the nets cost only ten dollars, and can last for four years. However, for people who are living on a dollar a day or less, ten dollars is a huge expense that many cannot afford.
With that said, our mission for today is to help get mosquito nets into the homes of people who need them. There are many ways that you can help. You can simply make a donation of ten dollars or more... every ten dollars you donate provides one net to someone! You can start or join a fundraising team, and raise money for even more nets. And, if you own a website or blog, you can add a banner or button to your site encouraging others to get involved with Nothing But Nets.
If you lived in one of these countries, wouldn't you want someone to do something like this for you?

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