‘Bye, bye to mosquitoes,’ hello to malaria prevention
By Gary Fallesen
, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Zex, right, is counted among hundreds happy to receive protection from malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Malawi. (Photos by Duncan Nyozani)
Zex Samikwa was ecstatic to receive a mosquito net. “Bye, bye to mosquitoes tonight,” he declared.
Frank Chipesu, another member of Pastor Duncan Nyozani’s church at Kambona in southern Malawi, called the distribution of mosquito nets “a miracle to my family. My wife has a new baby, born last week. I have been searching for money to buy a mosquito net, but could not afford (one).
“Oh, glory be to God for the provision,” Frank said, joyfully.
New father Frank smiling with a great sense of relief to have a mosquito net to protect his baby.
Pastor Duncan, a Climbing For Christ member since February 2009 and a ministry partner since 2010, made an appeal for mosquito nets for his churches. “Many children are dying,” he said. “Please pray for God’s provision of mosquito nets to our church members.
“We need mosquito nets to fight this malaria (outbreak). It is expensive to buy a net here.”
He told us it cost US$8 to purchase one net, and there were 350 families in need of nets. A total of $2,800.
“My two sons, Mike and Brian, and Ephraim (an orphan sponsored by C4C’s Project 1:27) and I have just recovered from malaria,” Duncan said.
Hope Lutheran Church, a Climbing For Christ supporter since the ministry began and now a partner in Malawi, came alongside Searchlight Ministries with a gift of $2,800.
Duncan was “delighted” to distribute more than 350 mosquito nets among his churches in Kambona and Msema.
The churches at Kambona, above, and Msema rejoiced at the gift of mosquito nets.
“All church members were very happy to receive the gifts that will help much in preventing mosquito bites and malaria,” he said. “Both congregations are sending millions of thanks to Hope Lutheran Church for their wonderful donation during this time. They (church members) sang songs of thanks. They say they are glad to discover that their American friends are standing with them in prayers.
“These are important things that people cannot afford to buy due to financial and famine problems. They are going back to their homes after the service with great joy. What a miracle!
“These mosquito nets will help much. Prevention is better than cure.”
Malaria is the third-leading cause of death in Malawi, according to the World Health Organization, accounting for more than 6 percent of the deaths. HIV/AIDS (at 27 percent) and lower respiratory infections (9 percent) are the leading causes of death, according to WHO.
Malaria claimed an estimated 7,200 lives in 2015, according to UNICEF. Malawi ranks 26th in the world for malaria deaths, based on data from WHO. UNICEF also reports that only 55 percent of all households in the country have at least one mosquito net.
Worldwide, 3.2 billion people (half of the planet’s population) are living in areas at risk of malaria – 106 countries and territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2012 (the latest CDC statistics), malaria claimed 627,000 lives with an estimated 91 percent of the deaths occurring in Africa.