By Mambu James Kpargoi,Monrovia
Photo Carr, 63, has always been scared of malaria. She lives in an endemic zone in Bernard Farm Community, Paynesville, outside Monrovia, one of five communities where the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) is distributing insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
“I use to use the bed sheet to blow the mosquito out of our house before we sleep to protect my children from mosquitoes,” she said. “Today we are lucky that the Red Cross is giving us free mosquito nets.”
“Malaria is both preventable and treatable, and effective tools to prevent and treat it have been developed. Sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) can reduce the effects of mosquito. There is evidence that bed nets, when consistently and correctly used can help prevent mosquito bites and consequently reduce the spread of malaria.”
This is the message the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) is hoping to spread to community residents as 150 Red Cross and community volunteers swan five communities in the Paynesville suburb to distribute free insecticide-treated mosquito nets, according to Joyce Kilikpo, LNRCS’ Health and Hygiene Coordinator. The Theme of the campaign is “Prevent Malaria, Everywhere, Every Night, Take Cover Under The Net.”
Supported by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare through the United States President Malaria Initiative, the Liberian Red Cross conducted assessment in the beneficiary communities and launched a 20 day campaign to provide the residents with the insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), free of charge.
“Taking preventive measures against malaria can significantly reduce mortalities associated with the parasite,” Joyce added.
The initiative locally supported by the United States Aid for International Development (USAID) aims to reduce the spread of malaria in Liberia. Home-based care and distribution of long-lasting ITNs contribute to rapid decline in malaria prevalence, she said.
Reversing the spread of malaria is crucial for the survival, health and development of children, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Through projects such as the distribution of free nets in Liberia, the LNRCS is working to help cut down the prevalence of malaria in Liberia.
“Before we started sleeping under the nets recently, We never use to sleep well with mosquitoes biting us every night,” said Secretta Sana, a beneficiary of the exercise in the Pipeline Road Community said. “With the distribution of the mosquito nets, we have been sleeping recently without experiencing mosquito. The Red Cross has really safe us from mosquito and getting malaria.”
The beneficiary communities are Bernard and Morris’ Farm, Pipeline Road, City View and Rock Hill Communities in Paynesville.