Friday, December 15, 2017

AIDSfreeAFRICA and the Malaria Free Zone Project

If you live in a community with Malaria and are interested in implementing our program in your community feel free to contact us via our web site www.AIDSfreeAFRICA.org. We would like this program to be used all over the world.


Malaria, a devastating disease that runs rampant in sub-Saharan Africa, is passed on to mosquitoes by an infected human and spread to many more humans by that very same infected mosquito. Of the over 200 million cases of malaria worldwide, 90% of them happen in Africa. In countries like Cameroon, more than 70% of the population is in danger of falling victim to this disease; many of those include children under the age of 5. How do we affect change on a grassroots level? The answer is on many levels.

AIDSfreeAFRICA has been educating Cameroonians on how the disease is spread. First the mosquito is born disease-free. The mosquito then finds a person to bite, sucking up a sample of their blood, which has Plasmodium falciparum (which is the
malaria parasite.) The mosquito is not affected by the parasite, but when this mosquito bites another person, thus begins the disease process of malaria. The parasites multiply in the blood, feeding on its host’s red blood cells. This life cycle of the parasite in the host is particularly deadly in children, since children have less blood than adults.


Inspired by the recent Ebola outbreak, which taught Africans to separate the healthy from the ill person, the initiative AIDSfreeAFRICA is implementing to prevent malaria is to cover windows and doors with mosquito nets, thus preventing mosquitoes from entering the house. This a simple initiative requiring only a few supplies, such as a hammer, saw, nails, and a mosquito net We instruct the villagers to measure the window and use these measurements to cut out a mosquito net to fit a little bigger than the window itself. They then place the net over the entire window and secure it in place by nailing thin strips of plywood over the frame. One might think this would be a simple endeavor; however, we have felt some resistance from the village community. Some community members would rather use their nets to protect their crops from bugs and parasites. This can often be a difficult argument to make since most villagers live off the crops they grow. We encourage them to keep their homes and family safe first, and then use any leftover nets for the fields. Most recently, we have seen a steep uptake of the program. We are looking forward to the day when we will see a
statistically significant drop in Malaria cases.


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