|© UNICEF Guinea Bissau/2011/Murray|
|Nitu Ndamé recieves a Long Lasting Insecticide Net from Aliu Djamanca at the Misquita Empantha distribution point.|
By Iain Murray
GUINEA BISSAU, Bissau, 8 November 2011 - Mosquito-borne malaria is one of the principal causes of death, underweight babies, and premature births in Guinea Bissau. To help fight this deadly scourge, the Ministry of Health, with UNICEF support, ran a mosquito net distribution campaign last week, which aimed to provide one net for every two people across Guinea Bissau – over 880,000.
The effort was financed through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the UN Foundation, and the Italian National Committee for UNICEF.
Monica Djata Mané, 30, lives with her husband, two daughters and her niece in the Luanda neighborhood of Bissau. No stranger to the dangers of malaria, she recalled when her neighbor’s son came down with the disease and was rushed to the local health centre. Last week, this same facility provided her with Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN) - one for each two members of her family - so her loved ones don’t suffer the same fate.
At the Misquita Empantha distribution point in Bissau the local community was very excited about their opportunity to receive an LLIN. Aliu Djamanca was kept especially busy, as he was a member of the distribution team handing out the life-saving nets. “We had many women waiting,” he said smiling. “As fast as we distribute to the community more people arrive, excited to receive these mosquito nets - it was a very beautiful thing.”