Saving lives: mosquito nets and malaria testing kits
“It was the most scary day of my life,” Noelina explained after finding ten-year-old Richard convulsing and foaming at the mouth. “His eyes had moved into the back of his head and he suddenly became stiff. I thought I had lost my son,” she said with a sudden sadness in her voice.
Richard was suffering from the extreme symptoms of malaria: fever, headache, chills and vomiting which, if left untreated, could be life-threatening. It is estimated that a child living in Africa dies every minute from malaria.*
Richard was rushed straight to hospital and given the life-saving intravenous medication he needed, shortly after which his symptoms starting to improve gradually.
It is estimated that on average malaria causes 660, 000 deaths per year, mainly in children under five* but this killer disease, contracted by the bite of an infected mosquito, is totally preventable. Richard’s family were not aware that something as simple as a mosquito net would have stopped Richard from getting sick and almost dying, nor did they have access to one.
Thanks to Must Have Gifts, we are able to offer children and families the best protection against malaria. The simple gift of a mosquito net can safely protect children from the killer bite of a mosquito whilst they are sleeping. A malaria testing kit means that catching the disease early is possible, helping to save many more children’s lives.
We know that every Must Have Gift is a real item that makes such a difference. Lydia, a mother from Zambia, sadly lost her three-year-old daughter to malaria. In this video on our Success Stories page, she talks about how the gift of a mosquito net is now helping to keep her family safe and protected from the disease. Since 2010, supporters like you have purchased thousands of life-saving mosquito nets for families, who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
As well as be able to offer these life-saving items through Must Have Gifts, World Vision is working alongside communities to help spread knowledge of the disease. This year World Malaria Day is taking place on Thursday 25th April. The day is a chance for people to come together globally to spread the word about malaria, share some of the successes of the past years and join together with other organisations in an attempt to combat this killer disease.
*Source: The World Health Organisation [http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/index.html]