Anticipation and Appreciation for Sierra Leone Nets
People are dancing in the streets and sharing the good news about lives saved thanks to insecticide-treated nets and more education about ways to fight malaria. In 2010, the United Methodist effort known as Imagine No Malaria played a key role in a health campaign that saw the distribution of 3.5 million nets in Sierra Leone. In June 2014, Imagine No Malaria will, once again, help to implement the distribution of medical care and bed nets – replacing the worn out nets with new ones and further cementing the church’s commitment to global health.
(Locator: Bo, Sierra Leone)
(Children singing: Cha-Cha, Cha-Cha, Cha for U-M-C, for U-M-C, for U-M-C…)
Children in Bo district of Sierra Leone sing the praises of the “U-M-C”…The United Methodist Church.
Several miles away, another community gathers to express their appreciation for something the church did here nearly four years ago.
Habibatu Fugbawa (via translator): “Since the distribution In 2010 we are living healthier lives and we thank you.”
In 2010, the United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria program distributed over 350,000 insecticide-treated bed nets in this district.
The people have not forgotten.
Dr. Samuel J. Smith, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone: “Bo is one of the districts where we received universal coverage, over 80 percent of the people are making use of the nets.”
When Imagine No Malaria was launched here, many people didn’t even know that mosquitos caused malaria and that sleeping under a treated net could reduce illness and death.
But today they are anxious to share stories about what the ministry means for the community.
John S. Fugbowe (via translator): “I really want to talk now about the nets I received, how much good it’s been to me and my family.”
Villagers credit Imagine No Malaria’s original participation in the first health and educational campaign as lifechanging.
Matilda Ndanema: “They do a lot in my life. My malaria has already go down. I have not even get malaria when I go do test at the hospital. They say malaria go down.”
As grateful as Matilda is for the nets, she knows they don’t last forever. The insecticide quits working after three years.
The government of Sierra Leone will undertake another massive health campaign that will target every household in country. That’s three- and-a-half-million nets.
And Imagine No Malaria will, once again, coordinate the implementation in the Bo district.
As Habibatu tucks in her old bed net, she looks forward to receiving a new one very soon.
She knows it will safeguard her family for another three years. And for that she is grateful.
Videographer: "No more malaria?"
Habibatu Fugbawa: "No more malaria." (smiles)
The government of Sierra Leone considers Imagine No Malaria to be a very valuable partner in the fight against malaria, which affects 43 percent of the population and is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 5.
Learn more at ImagineNoMalaria.org.