NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund Story from the Field April 2012
GHANA – In May 2010, Netsforlife® teamed with leaders from the major global health organizations – The Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization (ADDRO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, Ghana Red Cross, the Global Fund, ProMPT, and the Ghana Health Service to organize and lead the largest net distribution and hanging in world history.
Following Ghana Health Service’s Demographic and Health Report for 2008, the global health organizations considered ending the campaign against malaria due to disturbingly low health indicators, showing their efforts to be ineffective. However, by comparing the child mortality rate from 2003 to that of 2008, the publishers of the report identified that child mortality in the Northern Region, where Netsforlife® was working, had dropped from 96% in 2003 to 33% in 2008. In addition, mosquito net possession (76%) and usage rates (72%) were much higher than the national average of 34%. Netsforlife® and its unique methodology towards fighting malaria have made all the difference. Netsforlife® enters each community to conduct a situational analysis, engaging people to understand the peoples’ knowledge of malaria, and malaria prevention, thus creating a unique program tailored to the individual needs of that specific community.
As a result, the global health organizations entrusted Netsforlife® with the distribution, training, and hanging of 1 million nets throughout the northern and eastern regions of Ghana. Netsforlife® mobilized its Ghanaian staff to train 5,733 leaders within 5,733 unique communities to oversee malaria prevention, as well as raise a volunteer staff of 17,781 individuals laden with scores of nets, nails, ropes, scissors, stamp pads and hammers to risk their lives on trucks, canoes, motorcycles, and bicycles to accomplish the monumental task of hanging the first 600,000 nets in just one short week. Not to mention, an additional 76,000 nets, either found or purchased because of people hearing the Netsforlife® message in their community.
In December 2010, Netsforlife® hung an additional 550,000 nets in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
The NetsforLife® the Inspiration Fund is a grassroots effort to educate, engage, and unite Episcopalians to support the Millennium Development Goals through the fight against malaria. Our goal is to build awareness about this disease, how it can be prevented, and raise $5 million by December 2012.