Countdown to Wolrd Malaria Day, 25 April - A message from Emmanuel
Below some explanations and throughts from Emmanuel, local representative from Wakitaka:
Malaria is the number one killer in Uganda. It is endemic in 95% of the country, and forms on average 30-50% of the outpatient department attendance, 20% of in-patient admissions, and 9-14% of the deaths of admitted cases (http://allafrica.com/stories/200811240746.html). The country spends about sh12b annually on managing malaria, or about Ush 40,000 per person (http://allafrica.com/stories/201004130567.html). Despite this, malaria remains the leading cause of illness and deaths in Uganda.
In Jinja district where Wakitaka is located, malaria is also the most common diagnosis made in health outpatient units, accounting for 46% of diagnoses in children under five and 37% in those over five years (HMIS 105, 2000). In the village health center, malaria cases are the most registered. Studies have established that sleeping under an insecticide-treated net is one of the most effective ways to prevent malaria. However, few households can afford buying treated mosquito nets due to majority living below poverty line. Though malaria is preventable and treatable, it is more expensive treating the disease than preventing. Research indicates that about 34% of the household’s income is allocated to the burden of treating malaria. The already existing poverty coupled with the burden of treating malaria exacerbates the poverty levels amongst the households. One of the objectives of Wakitaka Youth Development Group is to eradicate poverty; and as long as the households are in poor health, economic activities are hindered in one way or the other; if a mother has a sick child being diagnosed of malaria, resources such as money, and time are spent that would otherwise be invested elsewhere for the well being of the household. The 34% household income that would otherwise be used to treat malaria could be saved to either expand or start up a sustainable household income generating activity thus contributing to poverty eradication.
The idea for Tweet-A-Net came about when one of the friends of Wakitaka village on Nabuur.com who happens to have successfully raised funds for a cause suggested it to me. I couldn’t wait but to give it a shot. I was also encouraged by success stories on the site that I read.
The three villages are linked by an online platform called Nabuur.com. It is an online platform where online volunteers share their expertise to address key challenges affecting communities in Africa, Asia etc. The three villages are also located in the same district of Jinja found in the Eastern part of Uganda. Since the villages had the same challenges to address, we decided to register the cause as one task instead of each village having its own link. This is the same way we have been operating as villages on Nabuur.com; if one village has resources that can help address the problem in another village, then sharing takes heed.
Thanks for your donations, Emmanuel
Since there have been some questions about how the bednets will be shared between the villages: Betterplace transfers the donations directly to the project once a need has been accomplished. Therefore the focus should be now to get the last 25% donations for Wakitaka. However, the three villages will buy the bednets together in Jinja and share them equally amongst them. So it does not really matter if you give to Wakitaka, Jinja or Mawoito - we want them to benefit equally.