January 26, 2010

Sweet Victory.

Andrei and I have finally outfitted our bed with a properly functioning mosquito net.

The bednet we purchased was delivered to Tanzania by Population Services International through the President’s Malaria Initiative. As in President Bush.

PMI is a huge five-year push by the U.S. Government to reduce the burden of malaria and help relieve poverty on the African continent. The goal of this $1.2 billion program is to reduce malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in 15 countries with a high burden of malaria by expanding coverage of four highly effective malaria prevention and treatment measures. One of these prevention measures includes the use of an insecticide-treated mosquito net.

The irony is not lost on us – we have purchased a mosquito net, in Tanzania, largely subsidized through our own US taxpayer monies.

Scientists claim that using a non-insecticide treated bednet is as “reckless” as not using a bednet at all. We can testify to this on a personal level, given several days delay in treating our bednet with insecticide. While a non-treated net provides a physical barrier between your sleeping space and malaria-carrying mosquitoes that come out between dusk and dawn, its comparative weakness stems from eventual tears in the net and inevitable openings in how the net aligns with your mattress or bed frame. By comparison, an insecticide-treated bednet works by poisoning and subsequently killing a mosquito upon landing on the net. Each morning, we now derive a devilish pleasure in counting the number of mosquito corpses that died upon impact whilst we slept peacefully throughout the night.

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