Malaria Prevention Bednet Program

The under-five childhood mortality rate has been as high as 20% for Malawi Children. Almost half of these deaths have occurred from Malaria. Malaria is still the scourge around the world. It is especially deadly in children, and the younger they are the more deadly it becomes. Very young children have still developing immune systems, and if they survive the first case of malaria, they begin to develop the earliest beginnings of immune resistant.

A unique feature of the Anopheles mosquito provides an opportunity to attack this disease. This mosquito is the only one in sub-Sahara Africa that caries the malaria parasite. However it is a night biting mosquito that does not travel to far from home. It typically first appears just before dark and disappears before sunrise the next morning.

Thus putting the under five orphans and their host siblings under insecticide bed nets at night can reduce the cases of malaria in these kids by 60-70%. If fact if a whole village uses bed nets, nearby villages also receive some protection because of the absence of malaria parasites in the village Anopheles mosquito population.

Since the bed net program was started in the MCV villages, the drop in malaria cases in the target populations has matched the results in Kenya and Tanzania where the prototypes of this program were first developed.

However, a bed net program can not just hand out mosquito nets to the guardians and grandparents of orphaned children. They need instruction in how to use them. They need periodic in village examinations to make sure they are being used and are in good repair. This is critical. Bed nets have been used as fishing nets, bridal veils and other novel ways not anticipated by the MCV staffs who administer this program.

The Malawi Children’s Village has a dedicated staff member, who delivers the bed nets to the village households, instructs the guardians in their use, and periodically does in-village inspections of those in use.

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