Next week in partnership with PSI (Population Services International), UNICEF, and the Ministry of Health of the Central African Republic, Nothing But Nets will help kick-off the distribution of thousands of life-saving bed nets across the country. The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world, and marred by frequent flooding and instability, the entire country is ravaged by malaria. In the Central African Republic malaria is the number one cause of death for children under 5.
So there is no better place for Nothing But Nets to be — where support is needed most. By the end of the year, our goal is to get a nets to every family across the country. This is an important step toward reaching the global goal to end malaria deaths by 2015.
Right now my colleague, Danielle Garrahan, is in the Central African Republic, working with PSI and UNICEF to prepare for the kick-off of the distribution next week. Below are some of her first impressions from a country that is in much need for the life-saving bed nets that YOU are helping us send. Stay tuned as Danielle will be sending more updates from the Central African Republic over the next week.
Update #1: Friday, September 24th
Upon landing in the Central African Republic, there are a few things that struck me right away. One is the ubiquitous red clay roads. Another is the consistent and deep potholes that cover those red clay roads and fill with water during the current rainy season. And lastly — the warm and friendly people who welcome you into their homes and lives. I am excited to be a part of the tremendous partnership between Nothing But Nets, PSI, and UNICEF to deliver over 800,000 long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets to cover every household in the country.
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to meet with some of the families who will begin receiving the nets next week when the actual distribution begins. Community health workers have gone house to house and surveyed the individual families for their bed net need and each family has received a voucher to redeem for the nets. Next week we will launch the distribution with the help of the Prime Minister and Minister of Health of CAR in a public and celebratory manner, as the communities gather to learn the importance of using their bed net every night.
Yesterday, I met one mother who has already lost 2 of her 10 children to malaria, so the importance of these nets is already well understood. She will eagerly wait in line at her local clinic to receive the life-saving net in order to protect her remaining children (one of whom I caught a photo of!). As I continue to meet with the local partners here in the Central African Republic who work tirelessly to make this bed net distribution a success, the depth and strength of the partnerships becomes more and more apparent. We are proud to be able to work hand in hand with these partners and thank our supporters for their commitment to bringing an end to malaria deaths.