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Nothing But Nets Impact Report

September 2020 Edition

This monthly snapshot is an exclusive benefit provided to our most valued donors.

Thank you for all you do to protect the most vulnerable families from malaria around the world.

The photo above shows a a malaria control team in Mozambique conducting an indoor residual spraying campaign in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. This campaign, which Nothing But Nets, was part of a coordinated malaria control strategy that prevented a malaria outbreak in the cyclone’s wake. Nothing But Nets is supporting the development of a field manual that provides step-by-step advice for limiting malaria cases and deaths during all emergencies.



A Blueprint to Prevent Malaria during Humanitarian Crises


Mosquitoes may not be top of mind when a violent conflict, severe storm, or mass displacement strikes a malaria-affected community. But sadly, humanitarian emergencies that cause widespread human suffering also create an ideal environment for mosquito-borne diseases to thrive. A wide range of crisis conditions can fuel a malaria outbreak: limited access to health services, disrupted healthcare supply chains, poor sanitation that fuels mosquito breeding, weakened immune systems, an influx of displaced populations who have low immunity to malaria, to name a few.

In these complicated and often dangerous humanitarian settings, malaria-affected health systems are under tremendous pressure to continue providing bed nets, treatments, and other life-saving commodities, while also maintaining disease surveillance and mosquito control programs (the photo above shows a malaria control team in Mozambique conducting an indoor residual spraying campaign in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai; Nothing But Nets helped launch this campaign). These health systems need resources to help them design and implement protocols that reduce risk of malaria outbreak during humanitarian emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted malaria programming around the world, has underscored this urgent need.

So Nothing But Nets is partnering with UNICEF to develop a field manual – “Malaria Control within a Humanitarian Emergency Response” – that provides practical step-by-step advice for limiting malaria cases and deaths during all emergencies, including COVID-19. This manual is designed for malaria program personnel at all levels – from the frontline health worker to the policymaker – and humanitarian actors who may not be intimately familiar with malaria control interventions. The objective of this manual is to help these converging programs and agencies quickly execute a coordinated malaria control strategy, with emphasis placed on protecting the most vulnerable populations, including displaced populations, mothers, and young children.

This manual builds upon best practices developed by the World Health Organization and other agencies. What makes this particular handbook so effective is the incorporation of numerous case studies and check lists that allow readers to quickly access the most salient points and step by- step instructions. This is critical considering the short timeframes under which humanitarian actors operate during a humanitarian crisis.

While not a typical Nothing But Nets project, the development of this manual can have a direct and lasting impact on malaria-affected communities that are vulnerable to both human-made and weather-related crises. It also is quite timely, considering COVID-19 has started to spread beyond Africa’s urban and tourist areas into more rural and remote regions where malaria is more common.

Your continued support gives us the flexibility to support these emergency projects. Thank you!

Located on the Sahara’s southern edge near the border of Burkina Faso, the remote village of Doubi Bangou region has experienced severe droughts, floods, and violent border conflicts in recent years. This malaria-endemic village has only one community health worker and is located miles away from a health clinic. The ““Malaria Control within a Humanitarian Emergency Response” field manual was designed with under-resourced villages like Doubi Bangou in mind. Above, Zainou walks with her 2-year old son outside their 1- room hut.

This chart, courtesy of a 2016 study conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, roughly illustrates the changing priorities of public health crises in the wake of natural disasters. Rates of malaria (i.e. vector-borne diseases) can steadily grow for weeks, if not months, if local health systems are unable to promptly execute a coordinated malaria control program.


Lydia’s Story

In a small shelter in Kakuma refugee camp in northeast Kenya, Lydia and her five-year old daughter Joyce snuggle on a bed covered by a white mosquito net (see left). Here, they are safe from war and better protected from malaria – a welcome change from the dangers they have faced in recent years.

Back in 2016, 37-year-old Lydia was living in Juba, South Sudan, with her husband and six children. Life was good: work and food supply were steady; and the children went to school. Lydia, meanwhile, was pursuing a degree in business administration. But one day, violence broke out in the city and everything changed. Despite their efforts to keep safe from the conflict that reached their doorstep, Lydia’s husband fell victim to kidnappers.

Heartbroken and fearing for their lives, Lydia and her children fled in search of safety. After a difficult three-day journey, they arrived in Kakuma, in neighboring Kenya, where they were registered by the UN Refugee Agency (UN Refugee Agency). Slowly, with support from UNHCR, the family began to rebuild their lives in their new home. Lydia learned English and took advantage of workshops and technical trainings offered in the camp, and the children all enrolled in school.

They were finally safe from war. But there was one thing from which Lydia still couldn’t protect her children. Since arriving at Kakuma, two of her kids transmitted malaria, which is endemic in the area. Fortunately, in 2018 Lydia and her family received three insecticide-treated bed nets from UNHCR, provided by Nothing But Nets. Since then, no one in her family has fallen ill with malaria.

In 2018, Nothing But Nets provided 143,050 bed nets to UNHCR’s emergency stockpiles in Kenya and Cameroon. These nets were then distributed to refugee/internally-displaced settlements of greatest need.

Healthy and happy, all of Lydia’s six children are performing well in school, and one of her daughters has just received a scholarship for next year.

“I need all my children to study very well, that’s my only dream,” Lydia says, beaming with pride. “Life is very difficult if you are a refugee. I have dreams for me and my kids, and that’s why I fought on – for my children.”

Protecting displaced families from malaria has always been a core part of Nothing But Nets’ mission. Thanks to your generous support, Nothing But Nets has provided malaria prevention and treatment to 5 million displaced people in 23 countries, working in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency and other partners.

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