4 million chances to tackle malaria in Togo
Just one mosquito bite – that’s all it takes for a person to become infected with malaria, a potentially life-threatening disease.
Every year, malaria claims the lives of more than 400,000 people – most of them children under 5 and pregnant women.
And yet, just a simple bed net can make all the difference.
Safety net solutions
Bed nets are treated with long-lasting insecticide and placed over beds, preventing malaria-carrying mosquitos – prevalent at night – from biting people and infecting them with the disease.
They are a cheap, easy and effective solution for preventing the spread of malaria, protecting those who need it most and helping save thousands of lives.
A mom receives a bed net from a distribution point.
Although half of the world’s population is at risk of contracting malaria, over 90% of related deaths occur exclusively in sub-Saharan Africa.1 And in Togo, West Africa, malaria is the number-one killer in the country.
Close to 60% of the population in Togo lives beneath the poverty line.2 Here, the threat of malaria is very real. In 2013 alone, nearly 900,000 confirmed cases of malaria were reported in the country, 40% of which were children under 5.
Netting out at 4 million chances to save lives
To help protect children and families from the mosquito bites that spread malaria, Plan has distributed nearly 4 million bed nets to households across Togo – potentially protecting up to 8 million people for 3 years!
Distributing 4 million bed nets requires some serious organization. A census helped identify individuals with the greatest need. From there, 1,400 distribution points were established where recipients could verify their identities and receive their nets.
A mother watches a bed net demonstration in rural Togo.
Awareness and ongoing diligence is an important aspect of disease prevention and sustaining containment. That’s why Plan simultaneously trained community members to play a major role in the eradication of malaria.
"Well trained community health workers detect and treat simple cases and refer serious cases to the hospital,” explained the head nurse of a local health centre. “They also sensitize communities on good practices to prevent malaria.”
Community-wide awareness campaigns were launched, educating locals on the dangers of malaria, the important function of the nets, the net distribution process and instruction on proper use. These comprehensive efforts will help ensure the long-term success of the initiative, improving health in Togo for years to come.
Helping families sleep safe and sound
After a frightening health scare where her child had to receive a dangerous – and costly – blood transfusion, Kossiwa became even more motivated to make her family’s health top priority.
Thanks to her new bed nets and disease-prevention awareness, she feels peace of mind knowing her family is well-protected.
“I am very happy to have been identified as a beneficiary, as sleeping under a mosquito net is the best way to avoid getting sick from malaria," she says.
Méguizani sits under her new bed net with 2 of her children.
After experiencing serious health problems, Méguizani, a Togolese trader and mother of 4, feared how seriously disease such as malaria could impact her family.
"I was so sick that I could not even take care of my business to feed my children,” she recalls.
Méguizani felt empowered after learning how to prevent malaria, while the safety of her new bed nets continues to give her relief and peace of mind.
“Since we learned to sleep under bed nets, my children can now have fun and go to school and I can take care of my business,” she says.
According to the World Health Organization, increased prevention and control measures – like the use of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets – have led to a 60% global reduction in malaria mortality rates since 2000.1
Overcoming malaria is a goal within our grasp, but we can’t reach it without you.
50 children die from malaria every hour – that's nearly one child each minute.3 But when you purchase a bed net, you join the movement to Spread the Net, helping cast a net of safety around the globe so that – together – we can save hundreds of thousands of lives, every year.
Purchase a bed net today, and your $10 donation will be matched for a $70 value – helping protect 7x as many children and families!
*Sources: 1) World Health Organization 2) World Bank 3) Roll Back Malaria