Preventing malaria, one net at a time

Linda Tom | 24 April 2014 | 0 comments

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-2185/CHRISTINE NESBITT

I’m standing in an empty room, when she runs in. A young woman with tears streaming down her face, she is struggling to carry a boy in her arms. His arms and legs are limp. When she sets him down on the bench, we see that he is convulsing and foaming at the mouth. The woman pleads for us to help her son. His name is Belo, he is five years old and he had been sick with fever for two days.

We’re in a health centre at the St Joseph de Mokassa displacement site in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). The centre is run by a man named Zean and six other health workers who have been displaced by the crisis in the country. There are thousands of people at the camp living in make-shift dwellings that offer few, if any, barriers against mosquitoes. Malaria is a constant, and deadly, threat to the 300,000 children living in camps in CAR, especially in the lead-up to the rainy season, where sites will become a quagmire of stagnant pools of water. 

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