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.change health OHS
Bed Nets for Safety by Raywa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.