CHICAGO, IL (January 5, 2010) – A recent report from the World Health Organization states that the number of malaria cases dropped significantly in 2009 due to wider use of mosquito nets, a fact that points to the importance of this year’s Children’s Service Project, says David Husby, director of Covenant World Relief.
The project, Bed Nets for Life, will provide nets for children living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The Bed Nets for Life project is a practical way to save the lives of young children in Congo,” says Husby. “Each $10 dollar gift will provide one bed net.”
The World Malaria Report 2009 provides data from 108 countries. According to WHO figures, reported malaria cases and deaths dropped by 50 percent or more in countries that have achieved high coverage with bed nets and anti-malaria treatments. Countries that have seen the biggest decline include Rwanda, Zambia, and Eritrea.
The report also noted, however, that much work remains to be done. About 243 million malaria cases were recorded last year, killing nearly 900,000 people, according to WHO. Most of those who died were children living in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malaria is the largest cause of death for children under five years of age in Congo, according to the Children’s Service Project website. Malaria spreads when a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.
Bed nets help prevent mosquito bites at night. Most children in Congo currently do not have a bed net, however.
Each year, Covenant World Relief partners with the Department of World Mission and the Department of Christian Formation in promoting an annual Children’s Service Project. The project typically runs from December through May.
A study curriculum is available to help children understand how children in Congo will benefit from the nets. Offerings from children during the span of the project will go towards purchasing nets.
Significant interest already has been shown in the project, Husby says.