For the past three years, Ker & Downey employees have worked to provide mosquito nets to communities in Uganda to reduce the life-threatening effects of a mosquito bite. This year the goal is set higher than any year before; distribute 18,000 nets to the communities most in need.
In a recent article in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof spoke of a hope found in the progress of the African continent and the decline of disease stating, “one of the great achievements of humanity in recent decades has been the marginalization of ancient and dreaded diseases.” Trachoma, polio, and leprosy are well on their way to being a thing of the past in Africa. The estimated deaths per year due to disease has dramatically declined in recent years with the number of children dying before the age of five decreasing from 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011.
Yet the battle against malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis rages on. Malaria kills more than one million people each year, with 90% of those deaths occurring in sub-saharan Africa. Perhaps the most unsettling fact about that number is that three quarters of those deaths are occurring in children under five. But with the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, transmission of malaria is cut by 50%, child deaths are cut by 20%, and the mosquito population drops by as much at 90%. These nets are life-saving.
There is a correlation between the increasing number of lives saved each year by the use of a mosquito net and the decreasing amount of public health expenditures. In Uganda, 50% of the population is infected with malaria. As Ker & Downey President David Marek states,
Our goal is to give back to the destinations that are in the greatest need. Uganda has many needs and the most important one is to reduce the effects of malaria…it’s difficult to have a productive economy with so many workers out occasionally due to malaria. It’s difficult for children to get an education when they are sick with malaria. And it’s difficult for a mother to care for her children when she is sick with fever.
Malaria costs an estimated $12 billion in lost productivity in Africa, but with six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world in Africa, just think about what the population can do if they didn’t have to battle deadly diseases. Just as cases of trachoma, polio, and leprosy are on the decline, so can deaths from malaria.
With your help, Ker & Downey sends malaria nets to Uganda each year. Each net covers four people to protect them from the sting of mosquito bites. This year we’ve raised the bar even higher than past years, with the hope to send 18,000 mosquito nets to Uganda to protect 72,000 people from life-threatening diseases.
For the cost of about two tall soy lattes from your favorite coffee shop, you can purchase a mosquito net to protect four children. Invest in a future where children don’t have to worry about getting stung by a mosquito. Invest in Africa. Will you partner with Ker & Downey to help make this hope a reality?
One net costs $7 and 100% of all donations goes towards the purchase of mosquito nets through our 501(c)3 Manna of God. Absolutely no administrative costs are taken out of your donation. To find out more information about Ker & Downey’s Nets for Africa program and to make a donation, visit its page on our website. To keep up to date with its progress, you can also visit the Nets for Africa Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.