Malaria is preventable and treatable, yet it remains one of the world's
deadliest diseases. Another person dies from it about every thirty
seconds. Most of the victims are children and most of the deaths are in
Africa. Africa suffers more than a million deaths from malaria each
Nothing But Nets is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation. The
nets are manufactured by Sumitomo of Japan and the Danish company
Vestergaard Frandsen. The nets are treated with insecticides that kill
mosquitoes, which spread malaria.
The campaign collects donations. People are asked to give at least ten
dollars. Elizabeth McKee Gore heads the campaign says the nets
cost about five dollars; the other half of the donation covers training
and distribution costs.
Local health workers are taught how to hang and take care of the nets,
then they train their neighbors. The campaign says each net lasts up to
Nothing But Nets was launched two years ago after sports writer Rick
Reilly wrote about malaria in Sports Illustrated magazine. He urged his
readers to donate money to the United Nations Foundation for its
efforts to buy treated bed nets. Since then, the campaign has raised more than twenty million dollars.
The National Basketball Association, the United Methodist Church and
other groups have joined the campaign.
So far, the campaign says it has supplied more than seven hundred
thousand nets to children and their families in Africa. The executive
director says parts of Africa will have received more than two million
nets by the end of this year. Nigeria, the Central African Republic,
Gabon, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast have already received supplies.
The Web site nothingbutnets.net points out that a net treated with
insecticide offers about twice the protection of an untreated net. When
enough houses have treated nets, the combined effect can make a whole
community safer from mosquitoes.
Click audio files for more detail in health report in Lao.