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

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid