Editor’s Note: This blog post was co-written by Nothing But Nets team member Negin Janati and Kate Dodson, UN Foundation Director for Global Health. If you missed Part 1 of this story, read it here!
Sagude looked down to put his arm around his eight-year-old son, then looked back up to us and said “I understand you’ve come a long way to get here. I know you’re from America, and that we have American generosity to thank for our healthy community. So I would just like to say thank you. Your support has not gone unnoticed.”
Sagude Rafera lives in Gonbore, Ethiopia, a small village of just a few hundred people 3.5 hours southwest of the capital city of Addis Ababa. Six years ago, with support from the U.S. government, the Global Fund, and other donors, the Ethiopian government built a health post in Gombore, staffed with two trained Health Extension Workers. Since that time, the health post has provided a full range of preventative health services to Sagude and 5,000 others in their community, including bed nets and vaccines for measles, polio, meningitis, and other common childhood diseases. Thanks to those tools, the rate of childhood mortality in that district has dropped 58 percent in just the past three years.
With the “Model Family” program, families are seeing results. Sagude’s family is of one of the earliest Model Families in the Wolliso district — each of his children are fully vaccinated and sleep under a bed net each and every night. Sagude is working hard to get all of his neighbors on board with this system, and we asked him why. He gave me a simple answer: it’s working. Not only does it work, but it’s easy to make these changes. Sagude’s family — and now his entire village — is healthier, with fewer cases of malaria and other diseases.
Sagude told me, “Please continue your support. It’s helping our community stay healthy.” Giving $10 to send a bed net to help protect families in Ethiopia like Sagude’s is really the least we can do.