Protecting Mothers and Children Against Disease

Malita, a pregnant young mother of two children, had just returned home to Angola with her family from neighboring northern Namibia after fleeing a 27-year long civil war that ended in 2002. Preparations were being made to cultivate the family’s farm, as they heard vegetables were selling well in the local market. Soon after her return home “the fever” struck her oldest child. Malita knew the “fever” came yet had no idea what caused it; her mother-in-law said it was “bad sugar cane.” He died in her arms in less than one day from “the fever” — malaria.

Each day, malaria takes the lives of nearly 3,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa. To protect Malita and families in the region from malaria, Episcopal Relief & Development is implementing NetsforLife®, a malaria prevention program partnership.

Together with her mother-in-law, Malita journeyed from her village of Namakunde to the town of Ondjiva to receive a long-lasting insecticide-treated net (LLITN) distributed by the Anglican Diocese of Angola, Episcopal Relief & Development’s local NetsforLife® partner. Malita left with a net and knowledge about the symptoms of malaria and how to quickly seek treatment.

Malita became a volunteer community malaria agent. Today, she makes sure those most vulnerable to malaria are protected — children under 5, pregnant women, the elderly and sick. She teaches women how to use the nets, how to detect the symptoms of malaria and where to seek treatment.

Malita’s knowledge and experience saves lives in her village. Her willingness to help others prevent needless deaths from malaria, and builds the health, well-being, agricultural production and economic vitality of her small community.