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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More