The Southern California Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) is proud to collaborate with Nothing but Nets in the global effort to eradicate malaria. Malaria is plain and simple, a sadistic killer. It tortures its victims, 10 days to 4 weeks (sometimes up to one year) after the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Victims experience recurrent bouts of high fever, chills, rigors, profuse sweating, nausea and vomiting, and then in some victims, it takes their life. Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria.
The illness is associated with direct loss of productivity in terms of time lost from work and school. There is also an indirect loss of productivity of female caregivers as a result of malaria attack on their children. The average malaria illness lasts 5 days (range 1-10 days) during which most patients cease work or school. There is a loss of investment and tourism in areas that are plagued by malaria. Malaria reduces GDP growth in some African countries by as much as 1.3% per year.
According to the World Bank, investments in malaria control over the past decade, have resulted in a drop of global malaria cases from 233 million in 2000 to 219 million in 2010. The number of malaria related deaths declined from 985,000.00 to 655,000.00 over the same period. In sub Saharan Africa, 1.1 million children have been saved from malaria infection over the last decade.
However there is still a lot that needs to be done. Malaria continues to kill en masse and affects children disproportionately with 86% of deaths in children under the age of 5 years.
ANPA applauds the work by Nothing but Nets in collaboration with UN agencies to provide insecticide treated nets to families across sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of deaths and infections from malaria occur. The goal of bed netting is simple. Eliminate contact with mosquitos using insecticide treated nets combined with environmental sanitation and you eliminate malaria.
We are joining Nothing But Nets in The Million Nets Pledge by holding a “World Without Malaria” 5K walk in the Los Angeles area this coming World Malaria Day, April 25, and encouraging the Nigerian diaspora and the wider community to take action with us.