Malaria, a disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, is a serious public health problem in Cameroon, especially for children younger than five. To combat this problem, AIDSfreeAFRICA launched the Malaria Free Zone (MFZ) program in 2015 in Cameroon (for more information visit http://aidsfreeafrica.org/our-programs/malaria-free-zone-mosquito-nets/). The goal of the program is to reduce the malaria infection rate while educating the residents on how malaria can be transmitted and/or prevented. As a part of the MFZ program, bed nets are permanently affixed to windows to make the entire structure a malaria-free environment. A behind-the-scenes look at this program was first introduced in the Chemists Without Borders Newsletter 27 (http://www.chemistswithoutborders.org/downloads/newsletters/Newsletter_27.pdf)
Since the inception of the MFZ program, AIDSfreeAFRICA has equipped over 150 homes/structures and over 700 individual windows throughout Cameroon. The initial phase of the MFZ program began in Bamenda in the Northwest Region of Cameroon and Yaounde, which is in the Central Region. In the next phase of the MFZ program, AIDSfreeAFRICA is looking to expand to the Littoral Region, which includes the port city of Douala. Doula’s population is over 2.5 million. The MFZ program has the potential of making a vast impact on malaria-infection rates in such a densely populated region. Recently, AIDSfreeAFRICA formed a partnership with the Health District in Garoua in the North Region of Cameroon. The government in Garoua has provided 50 bed nets to spearhead the MFZ program efforts in this area. Great strides are being made so far, and AIDSfreeAFRICA hopes to expand the MFZ program to all 10 regions of Cameroon.
To accomplish the goal of reaching all regions of Cameroon, the MFZ program will need additional volunteers and monetary support. Currently, there are almost 20 AIDSfreeAFRCA volunteers in Cameroon that are gathering supplies, coordinating installations, and affixing bed nets to windows. Short-term volunteer opportunities for individuals from overseas that would like to support the MFZ program’s mission are also available.
To contact us directly, please visit the AIDSfreeAFRICA website (http://aidsfreeafrica.org/our-story/contact/) and send us a message letting us know how you would like to partner with our organization to help Cameroon!