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2007.09.11

* UNICEF: Donation from Japan helps send mosquito nets to Ghana
* 29 Aug 2007

You are watching UNICEF Television.

In Ghana, a country in West Africa, Malaria kills 20,000 children every year. One out of every four childhood death before the age of five is due to Malaria.

12 year old Donald Agulo lives in Gumongo, a village in the Upper East Region
“My mother had six children. Two died and now we are four”

His mother, Apripey Anyyongubire recalls:
“One evening, I realized my child had high fever. I took him to a clinic but nobody was there. So I took him to another clinic but on the way home, he got convulsion. I cried for help and rushed to an herbalist but the child died on the way."

In order to protect children from Malaria, with more than 3 million US dollar funding from the people and the Government of Japan since 2004, UNICEF supports the Ghana Health Service to provide Insecticide Treated Nets to children and pregnant women.

A community health volunteer, Robert Azerko makes house visits on a blue bicycle provided by UNICEF. He explains to a pregnant woman the importance of sleeping under the net to prevent malaria. Felicia Mahama is UNICEF health officer. “In the Upper East region, the use of the net is 26-29% which is still low. Our main challenge here is behaviour change communication on the use of bednets”

Apripey explains:
“We used to say that when you eat too much oil, pawpaw, shea fruits or roasted millet, you get malaria. Now with the use of the mosquito net we still eat all of these and yet we do not get malaria"

Today, Donald and his mother know how to protect themselves and the young children. They all sleep under the net. The insecticide Treated Nets can reduce child death by 20%. The net will prevent millions of children in Ghana from suffering from Malaria and allow them to grow up healthy.

This is Michael Katahena reporting for UNICEF television. Unite for Children.


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