Saturday, May 23, 2009

Project Meds and Nets - MaN -Think Humanity

Project Meds and Nets (MaN)
"help us fight malaria"
PROJECT MEDS AND NETS is a project within Think Humanity, a non-profit organization whose mission is "to provide a positive change for refugees in Africa."Malaria is a disease of the blood that is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. Malaria is preventable and treatable. To fight this disease, we must provide children, orphans, elderly and the poor with treated bed nets and make anti-malaria drugs, such as artemisinin, available.There are other organizations fighting malaria, but we are the only organization leading the fight against malaria in the Kyangwali Settlement in western Uganda. There are approximately 19,000 displaced individuals from surrounding countries living in Kyangwali. These people have been forced into refugee camps due to war in their homelands.Since December 2007 we have distributed approximately 6,000 long-lasting treated mosquito nets. Families with more than seven members received two nets. Most of those that benefited were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and the Acholi Tribe from northern Uganda. In order to continue to help refugees, we need continued support. Think Humanity would like to give out nets to other refugee settlements in the future.

Approximately 20,000 more refugees are flooding into Kyangwali do to the instabilities in the North Kivu area of the DRC. In order to keep malaria under control we must give nets to these new arrivals.
Each year, malaria afflicts approximately a half-billion people (roughly the population of the United States, Canada and Mexico combined).
An African child under the age of 5 dies from malaria every 30 seconds.
Fewer than 3 percent of children at risk for malaria are shielded by insecticide-treated nets. Malaria kills more than one million people per year; 90 percent of those who die are African children.
Malaria incapacitates people, keeping countries poor. In addition to the health burden, malaria illness and death cost Africa about $12 billion per year.
In Africa, 25 million pregnant women and their newborns a year are exposed to anemia, low birth weight and die.
Malaria continues to be a leading cause of death among refugees. In 2007, malaria accounted for 21% of the total reported deaths and 26% of deaths in children under five years of age. Malaria was responsible for 23% of the total morbidity and 25% of under five morbidity. Eisa Hamouda, UNHCR
On the Kyangwali Refugee Camp, many people who need and want nets cannot afford them. A refugee earns approximately 33 cents a day on average by digging. However, complications from malaria lead to absenteeism from work and school and consumes about 54 percent of a refugee's annual income. -Wereje Benson, refugee in the Kyangwali Settlement Camp and Think Humanity Program Manager. Statistics specific to Kyangwali

Insecticide-treated nets have proven highly effective in killing mosquitoes and preventing malaria transmission. They have been shown to reduce the incidence of malaria episodes by half and in malaria-endemic areas the widespread use of nets reduces child mortality rates by about one fifth.
Using anti-malarial drugs, such as artemisinin, can eradicate malaria symptoms in three days.
Indoor Residual Spraying (spraying insecticide on the inside walls of houses) kills female mosquitoes when they rest on sprayed surfaces after feeding on a person, reducing malaria transmission to others.

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