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Friday, July 23, 2010

20th Stop - Douala, Cameroon, part 2

Malaria prevention
Nothing too exciting these past few days. I finally got a cash infusion from Western Union, my debit cards having arrived in Casablanca a couple days after my departure. Next stop, the pharmacy.

First off, thanks ValĂ©rie for the info about what anti-malarial medication to get. She recommended either lariam or malarone. I had the box of lariam in my hand and looked at the price tag: $100! No wonder why this is not a long-term solution to malaria prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa (in addition to the potential side effects of taking it for too long). For 56 days of protection, that’s $1.78 per day. That may not sound like much for some readers, but for people surviving on less than $1 a day, this price makes it unaffordable for those who need it most.

Bednet for Annie and Ghislain's three boys.
Now, lets compare this with a bednet. One bednet can protect 1 to 4 people (depending on how many people are sleeping under it) for up to 5 years. Five years is 1,825 days. If a bednet costs $10 to produce, ship, distribute, and teach people how to use it, that makes $0.005 per day. Lets say there are 3 children sleeping under it, that means it will cost less than $0.002 per day to protect them from contracting a malaria for up to 5 years.

This illustrates why there is so much effort and energy being devoted to the bednets campaign. It is one of the most simple, cost-effective solution for saving lives. Remember that every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria and that children under 5 are most at risk. This also costs Sub-Saharan Africa $12 billion in lost economic productivity and represents about 40% of the continent's health expenditures.

If you want to protect someone’s life over the next five years, you can buy a bednet or two today by clicking here. It will end up costing you less than $0.005 per day. A special thanks to Magali G. for pushing us over the bar of $3000 raised for 300 bednets!

Thanks again to everyone for your support. There are more adventures to come--tonight we celebrate Ghislain’s birthday!

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