News / Africa

UN: Bed Nets Sharply Reduce Malaria Deaths

A Sudanese women gets help setting up a bed net (file photo)A Sudanese women gets help setting up a bed net (file photo)
x
A Sudanese women gets help setting up a bed net (file photo)
A Sudanese women gets help setting up a bed net (file photo)
The United Nations is reporting that malaria has dropped from being the leading cause of death among refugees living along the Sudan border. Among the locations where the new malaria-reducing strategies are being employed is the Kakuma Camp for Sudanese refugees in northern Kenya.

Not long ago, malaria killed more Sudanese refugees than any other disease. But now, while it is still deadly, the U.N. reports it is only the fifth leading cause of death among the estimated 38,000 Sudanese refugees living in the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya.

The reason - a five-year campaign called Nothing But Nets run by The United Nations Foundation. Nothing But Nets is the largest grassroots campaign in the world and it hopes to end malaria deaths by 2015.

Now, Nothing But Nets has launched an emergency appeal to send 100,000 life-saving bed nets to help thousands of South Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict and violence along the Sudan border.

Thirty-seven-year-old Achol Deng is a mother of three from Jonglei state. She is among thousands of new arrivals in the Kakuma refugee camp. Deng received mosquito nets that she will need to save her young family during the rainy season.  

Deng says the mosquito net she received will protect her children if she uses it the way she was instructed. She says she hopes because of the net, her family will be free from malaria.

Refugees free from the disease are what malaria campaigners, partners, and supporters want to see as they make a two-day visit to the Kakuma refugee camp to distribute mosquito nets.
 
Chris Helfrich is the Director of the U.N. Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. On a recent visit to the Kakuma camp he says life is tough enough for refugees, and they should not have to worry about dying from malaria.

“It’s a tough situation here in Kakuma, obviously, but we are happy to bring hope and do a little of something; these people, they have very tough lives but we are happy to bring nets because with everything else they have to deal with, malaria shouldn’t be one of them.”

American sports writer Rick ReillyAmerican sports writer Rick Reilly
x
American sports writer Rick Reilly
American sports writer Rick Reilly
The Nothing But Nets campaign was started after American sports journalist Rick Reilly challenged his readers to donate at least $10 to help purchase bed nets. Now, the group raises millions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

Canadian actress Serinda Swan, who is best known for her role in the series “Breakout Kings,” is just one of many celebrities who have joined the campaign.  

“We’ve come here to help bring awareness and stop malaria. It’s a killer of a child every 60 seconds in Africa and that’s a statistic that needs to stop. We are here to distribute nets, we here to talk to people, we are here to figure out what is going on in the camp,  what can be improved just get their story out....”

While the Nothing But Nets campaign is saving lives, U.N. officials are concerned about a possible wave of new refugees fleeing violence between Sudan and South Sudan.  Chris Helfrich of the U.N. Foundation says the Nothing But Nets campaign will continue as long as needed.

“We will continue raising money from Americans working tirelessly to try to save nets. We are committed to making sure that every refugee in Kakuma and across the continent has a net over their heads to keep them safe from malaria. We are not going away; we are going to stay committed to this.”

With the help of partners at the UN Refugee Agency, the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign has distributed bed nets in more than 20 Sub-Saharan countries, helping to cut malaria deaths by one-third within the last decade, according to the World Health Organization.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs