Malaria is a disease that is caused by Plasmodium, a blood parasite that is transmitted via mosquitoes. The disease, Malaria is named from the two Latin words for “bad air” mala and aria. This disease is responsible for anywhere from 350 million to 500 million illnesses every year. Over one million deaths (mainly seen in children under the age of five) are caused by this illness.
Particularly prevalent in Africa, ten new cases of Malaria are detected every second. Every 30 seconds a child in Africa loses the fight to Malaria and dies. Refugees in Africa also fall victim to Malaria often.
Nothing But Nets is working in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency in an attempt to send much needed bed nets which have been pretreated with insecticides. The effort has gotten the nets to over one million refugees in 15 countries throughout the continent of Africa.
Forty percent of the world population resides in countries that are malaria ridden. Treatment of Malaria puts a huge strain on the health care systems in the public health facilities of these countries. Deaths from Malaria cost African countries a significant amount of money each year due to lost productivity among workers and the cost of deaths. Malaria causes a decrease in tourism, hinders foreign investment, and affects the production of crops.
In many areas Malaria is under control, in some places in Asia, Europe, and the Americas instances of Malaria are completely eliminated. As the parasites evolve in Africa they are merely becoming more and more resistant to drugs, therefore the number of malaria infections have increased.
Bed nets help with Malaria by creating a barrier of protection against mosquitoes carrying the deadly malaria parasite. These insects tend to bite during the night time hours. Bed nets protect the individuals using them for up to five years.