To show their support for the billions of people around the world who are at risk of malaria, students of the GoGlobal-Interact Club at Greenbrier East High School have partnered with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to raise awareness about the fight against this deadly disease. In order to better understand the importance of these simple yet powerful tools, several students spent a week sleeping under an anti-malaria net in their own homes.
Report from Senior Zoe Sampson: “During the week that I slept under the bed net, I hardly slept at all… In the night it seemed that the net held in heat so it was very hot and uncomfortable. The net also was very rough and scratchy on my skin when my arms would rub against it as I tossed and turned. In the mornings, it never failed that I would wake up with my legs tangled in the bed net and blankets. In conclusion, for me, an American who has never had to worry about malaria, sleeping under the net was very strange, uncomfortable, and shocking. It’s made me very grateful for my health and the conditions in which we live where malaria is not a daily threat.”
Although they are not the only solution, long-lasting insecticide treated bednets truly make a difference. By both protecting children and families while they sleep and killing mosquitoes on contact, a bed net is a life-saving tool. Thanks to the delivery of over 1 billion nets by global health organizations such as the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, along with other interventions such as indoor residual spraying and increased testing and treatment, tremendous progress has been made. Since 2000, childhood deaths in Africa have been reduced by 71 percent. That’s a lot more kids who are able to grow up healthy and thrive.
Many Americans have joined Nothing But Nets, which is working with the UN and other partners to help beat back the spread of malaria and protect vulnerable populations, like refugee families, from this disease. Now in its tenth year, Nothing But Nets is about to deliver its 10 millionth bed net protecting vulnerable children and families. Anyone can make a huge difference in this global fight. All it takes is $10, the price of one net, to change someone’s life. Visit www.NothingButNets.net and get involved. For more information, call GEHS GoGlobal-Interact Club sponsor Liz Daigle at 304-647-6464.