Bright pink backpack and stuffed unicorn in hand, I stepped onto an airplane for the first time. My destination was India. When I arrived I saw bustling streets and bright colors, but the most memorable sights from my trip were the funny princess tents everyone seemed to sleep in. Being four years old, I didn’t understand why they were necessary. I questioned my grandmother about my confusion, and she told me that the nets were to keep mosquitoes away during the night. She also informed me that they were important because mosquitoes can cause something called malaria, which she had as a child because her family didn’t have bed nets. I spent the rest of my visit pondering this.

        As I became older, I learned more about the problem of malaria in third world countries. Knowing that my grandmother suffered from this preventable disease made me frustrated at the prevalence. I thought about the fear and misery she must have felt as fever and nausea enveloped her. Growing up, my mom and her siblings all slept safely, where many children and adults did not have the opportunity to. No one should have to go through a disease that can be prevented through the use of bed nets. Our world should prioritize the distribution of bed nets to countries with high numbers of malaria cases.

       The amount of people that still die today due to lack of resources is much too high. UNICEF states that about 3000 children a day.  Though bed nets are an inexpensive solution, they are not widely used in areas affected by malaria. UNICEF also states that nets can reduce the chance of contracting malaria by 50% but only about 5% of children in Africa area able to utilize them. These are children who could be greatly protected from a preventable disease if they had access to this resource. Additionally, through the Against Malaria Foundation, nets are about $2.50 each and are able to protect 2 people throughout the night, which is the time with the highest risk of contraction. This is a small price to pay for the health of those in countries with malaria prevalence.  

     Though some might argue that distribution and cost of these materials are unreasonable, there are many organizations, such as the Against Malaria Foundation, that are dedicated to creating a safe sleeping environment.  Through spreading awareness and donations to organizations whose mission is to prevent malaria, the number of individuals who suffer from this disease will lessen. Change is possible by putting the health of people first in a situation where death can be largely prevented.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Bed Nets for Safety by Raywa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

4 Comments
  1. Mason 8 months ago

    Such a simple act to prevent a disease! I have grown up learning about bed nets, and how they successfully prevent the spread of malaria. Malaria is a disease that can be controlled with little to no money (compared to other diseases) that there should be no reason why every child cannot have a bed net to protect them from this god awful disease. Great post!

  2. Giselle 8 months ago

    This topic is not recognized as much as it should be. Malaria and other illnesses like dengue fever are everyday struggles for those living in third world countries. Bed nets should be resources that are easily obtained by those living in places that are at risk for malaria and dengue.
    Along with bed nets, these countries have trouble controlling the growing amounts of trash, creating habitats for mosquitoes. Artificial containers, and tires put these people at risk for illnesses, and it crucial to have the resources to collect trash and have bed nets. Great article !
    If you are interested in learning more check out http://www.cdc.gov/dengue/entomologyecology/m_habitats.html

  3. Caroline 8 months ago

    Wow I absolutely loved this! I did not know much about this topic and this article really educated me! I agree that bed nets seem absolutely important! Such simple and effective solutions are necessary to integrate, especially in third world countries where people already live hard lives. I think another huge problem we need to fix in third world countries is clean water. Reading this article makes me grateful for the home I have and helps me understand how lucky I am to live in a place without the need for a bed net.

  4. Andreas 8 months ago

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Bed nets are the key to reducing malaria and the more people know about it the more we can accomplish. I love the fact that you brought up people not even knowing what it is like feel unsafe asleep. We take it for granted. There is no excuse for us to not help the cause by providing bed nets. I found this article about reducing African flies carrying sleeping sickness. You might be interested.
    http://www.scidev.net/global/health/news/cheaper-trap-for-tsetse-flies-developed.html

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