Mosquito Nets (and a Lot of Duct Tape!)

Ebeneezer kubwa (2) was diagnosed with
malaria this week.

As you may know from our facebook page, four of the kids have been suffering from malaria over the last week.

Big Maureen kubwa was diagnosed first.  The first step in this is realizing that a kid is feeling poorly, following which you go to the wooden ‘DAWA‘ (‘medicine’) cupboard in the kitchen so that you can check their temperature, and if this is abnormal the next step is to take the five minute walk down the grassy slope to the hospital to get them tested for malaria. Neema kubwa, Ebeneezer kubwa and Saimoni also haven’t been themselves and have also all been diagnosed with malaria in this way.

The fact that malaria is so common in Tanzania means that the test at the hospital is very easy, quick and efficient, allowing the kids to be diagnosed and started on medication as soon as possible.

The reason the kids don’t get malaria as often as they otherwise might is due to mosquito nets!  Every night (normally between the mass changing of all the babies and toddlers; giving them all the hot drink of ‘Ugi’, and trying to ensure that all the big kids have a clean sheet and clean duvet cover…and are in the correct bed and not trying to trick you!) a mosquito net is put over every crib (babies), slightly bigger cot (toddlers) and bed (the ‘big kids’) that a kid is sleeping in to ensure that they are protected from the mosquitoes which will appear in the evening.

Neema ndogo’s (1)* favourite way to be in her cot when
she was little was sitting up, making her especially
good at grabbing the mosquito net!

(*it is Neema kubwa who currently has malaria)

Sounds simple…until you realize that:

  1. Toddlers love to grab anything above them and PULL (not great when the cot is made of wood which is rough for the fine net material to be dragged across).
  2. Despite the fact that we have bought new nets to replace the old ones, unfortunately, the wear and tear of children and orphanage means that they grow holes at an alarming rate!
  3. …and this is where the duct tape comes in! Because any hole is an opportunity for a mosquito to get in and potentially cause malaria, any hole has to be either tied up, or duct taped.

Since Ebeneezer kubwa (2) is now on
medicine he should be feeling better very soon.

And, as you can imagine, this can take quite a while some nights!  It is 110% worth it though, as it means that cases like Maureen, Neema, Ebeneezer and Saimoni are much more infrequent than they otherwise would be.  Unfortunately it is not possible to ensure that they are never bitten (and not possible be on anti-malarial tablets long-term (ie. if you are permanently living in the country)), but the situation is SO much better than it would be without the nets!

With the help of medication, these four little ones are on the road to recovery and we will keep you all updated on their progress.

Your support helps to buy new mosquito nets when they become too damaged to be safely used, allowing us to protect the kids against what can be a lethal disease.

Thank you so much for caring.

Peace (1)