Sunday, November 11, 2007

Send a net, save a life.

Back when I was in high school, my grandmother got food poisoning from some bad tuna. After she recovered, she told me, "I haven't been that sick since I had malaria in '37!" I was a bit surprised since, at the time, I didn't know malaria had been a problem in the United States. I remember responding, "You had malaria in '37?"

Well, malaria is no longer transmitted in the US, but 41% of the world's population lives in places where it is (Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, Hispaniola, and Oceania). Want some more stats?

--> Over one million people die each year from malaria, most of them young children.
--> In some parts of the world where transmission rates are high, there can be as many as 2 deaths per minute from malaria.
--> Life-saving treatments for malaria are relatively inexpensive: $0.13 for chloroquine, $0.14 for sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and $2.68 for a 7-day course of quinine.
--> "Insecticide-treated bed nets can reduce transmission as much as 90% in areas with high coverage rates."

That's right: NETS SAVE LIVES. And you can too when you purchase a net for just $10 through the Nothing But Nets Campaign from the United Nations Foundation. Just visit to make your donation. And check out So What Can I Do - News for a recent press release about their work in Congo. And here's the great thing: because of Ted Turner's gift to the UN Foundation, every cent of your donation goes toward getting the nets to the people who need them. No administrative costs are taken out.

Mom (my grandmother) took quinine when she had malaria, but others won't have to if malaria can be prevented in the first place. So in honor of her birthday today (it would have been her 97th), I encourage all of you buy a net. I bought two. It's that easy: Send a net, save a life. Happy birthday, Mom!

"You go your way and I'll go mine."Griffin Henry Belk, grandfather of Fanilla Suttles Cobb, grandmother of Karama Neal


Jay Cam said...

i see you changed your environment to make it a couple days ahead!

~Jay's World

Karama said...

I hope you like the new look, Jay. Thanks for stopping by, and please come again.

Karama said...

This just in:

95% Coverage in Mali

Dear Friend,

What happens when every child at risk of dying from malaria gets a bed net? Take the case of three year old Arnge Doumbia from Bamako, Mali.

One cool night, perhaps a month or even a year from now, with the sky filled with a blanket of stars, a mosquito will enter Arnge’s home. The mosquito will sense warmth, and attempt to feed—but instead of landing on Arnge, it will land on the net covering him while he sleeps. The mosquito will be instantly incapacitated, and never again be able to feed and inadvertently pass on its deadly disease—malaria.

The next day Arnge will wake, rested, and go to school. He’ll never wake up with intense body aches—described by many victims like “lightning” in the body. No headaches so sever that Arnge is literally unable to think. No harsh flu like swings, from bone chilling cold to massive sweats, as the body literally approaches boiling, at 105 degrees.

Arnge will never have to be carried by his mother to the closest hospital, and Arnge’s siblings, three brothers and three sisters, won’t be left alone to fend for themselves for more than a week.

Arnge’s mother won’t be forced to choose between paying for malaria medication or feeding her family for the rest of the month; she never has to worry about the same scenario playing out years later—as malaria, for any amount of money, can be treated, but never actually cured.

On a greater scale, it means that many of the 440,000 others in Mali, the number who contract the disease annually, won’t succumb to malaria and its effects. It means that thousands that would have died from malaria will live, and that others are able to survive it and live normal lives and contribute to society instead of becoming its burden.

Because ultimately the costs incurred by malaria are even higher than the one million deaths that the disease causes every year in Africa. There are, in fact, immense costs to the millions more who are malaria victims that survive this deadly disease—500 million people annually, or one in twelve people across the globe.

Because Arnge received a net, like many other kids at risk of malaria in Mali, he’ll go to school just like any other day, and learn how to spell his last name. And multiplied across the country that means more roads, schools, and better economy and a better standard of living.

With your support, Nothing But Nets, along with the United Nations, the Malian government and others had tremendous success and were able to cover 95% of children under the age of 5 with bed nets. So by sending nets, yes, you’ve saved the lives of many. But it’s also important to know that but you’ve also improved the lives of even more.

Thank you!

Nothing But Nets Team

Karama said...

I just learned that these mosquito nets last up to four years! What a bargain at ten bucks!

Karama said...

Join the So What Can I Do Netraiser team and put your ten bucks to good use.