Nets Work

rwanda

All it takes is a bed net…

The US-funded anti malaria initiatives in Rwanda are proving  effective, and we can make them even more successful. The Rwandan Health Ministry says malaria deaths have been reduced by more than 60%. World Malaria Day was yesterday (April 25, 2009) and a poignant time to evaluate the progress that has been made in fighting malaria as well as HIV disease and TB.

Dr. Corine Karema, Director of Rwanda’s National Malaria Control Program, states, “We have proven in Rwanda that we can dramatically increase the number of lives saved through funding and implementing programs in malarial countries. Now, we must recognize the opportunity facing not just Rwanda, but the world: for the first time in the history of this disease, we have an opportunity to eliminate the burden of malaria to a point where it is no longer considered a major public health problem. We must keep up the fight to ensure that this promise can become a reality.”

It only takes access to insecticide-treated bednets to protect people against mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite. Starting in 2006, the government of Rwanda aggressively increased its malaria intervention programs and distributed more 1.5 million malaria nets in one week. An additional 1.6 million have been distributed by non-government organizations (NGOs). Now, roughly 60 percent of children under five and pregnant women in Rwanda sleep under malaria nets–thus the dramatic improvement. See Ashley Judd, spokesperson for a leading malaria fighting organization, here…and learn how to help.  http://www.malariafreefuture.org/rwanda.

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