A mosquito net for all: a solidarity distribution campaign

Schools are privileged places to distribute mosquito nets but also to make students aware of their use.

Basile Lange (translated from French by Mariana Santos)
21 February 2019
Des enfants avec leur moustiquaire en RDC

"I would no longer be a victim of malaria", says Esther joyfully, a young student from Tanganyika Province, southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A few days ago, Esther received a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide at school. "Now I sleep with my brother and my little sister in the mosquito net", says Esther.

The girl not only received a mosquito net, but she also received information on malaria and tips for using and maintaining her new mosquito net. "I've been taught that you should not wash the mosquito net with soap, not expose it to the sun or iron it", recites Esther methodically. 

Schools are privileged places to distribute mosquito nets, but also to make students aware of their use. Schools are gateways to reach all communities as enthusiastic students will speak with their parents, families, neighbors and friends. By educating students in schools, it is possible to reach the entire community.

Esther is not the only student to receive a mosquito net. With the support of USAID and UKAid, nearly 300,000 students benefited from mosquito nets in Tanganyika Province at the beginning of the school year. The distribution appealed to the sense of solidarity of the students since the mosquito nets were given in priority to the families that did not have them yet.

Kizanga, a fifth grade student, understood this well. "My little brother had already received a mosquito net", explains the boy. Aware of the importance of having at least one mosquito net per family, Kizanga felt no frustration when his teacher did not give him a mosquito net.

It was only at the end of the distribution that Kizanga got a mosquito net. "We'll keep it clean until the other mosquito net is too dirty or damaged", the boy concludes.

In Tanganyika Province, more than 170.000 children under 5 had malaria and the number of deaths is still too high. Here the distribution of mosquito nets is particularly important. By being supportive, the distribution campaigns organized by UNICEF and its partners aim to empower students. Brothers and sisters can share a mosquito net to give other students the opportunity to receive one. It is not important for everyone to have their own mosquito net, but everyone must be able to protect themselves from malaria.