Impregnated mosquito nets and gestures of solidarity: all must have the opportunity to protect themselves

Christevie, 10 years old, is in the fifth grade at Thabiti school in Kalemie and will never fall sick because of malaria. She was very happy to receive her mosquito net thanks to a distribution campaign of mosquito nets treated with insecticide in all the schools of the Tanganyika province.

“As soon as I received my mosquito net at school, I took it to mom to fix it in my room”, says Christevie with a happy face. By distributing the mosquito nets, the teachers explained their use and how to mount them on their beds to the pupils.

The younger brother and the younger sister of Christevie equally received mosquito nets at school. Since Christevie shares her bed with her sister and her brother already had one, their mother decided to give the two extra mosquito nets to members of her church who have babies.

“Christevie told me that if we had too many mosquito nets, we should give them to those who had none”, explains Christevie’s mother. The distribution campaign implied this solidarity side that Christevie and her mother have understood well.

It is Brigitte, a mother of three, who received two mosquito nets. “We have trouble supporting the hospitalization of children who fall sick” she says, now a little relieved. Each hospitalization is expensive and the expenses for the care are often those meant to feed the family. The solidarity of Christevie’s family would help Barbara to protect her children from malaria.

At school, through health education classes, the pupils learned how to use mosquito nets. Christevie knows that the mosquito net must be solely used to protect oneself from mosquito bites and not as a fishing net or to cover goalposts or plants. “The teacher forbade us all these bad practices”, says the young girl.

To reduce the rate of absenteeism at school, UNICEF has distributed over 250,000 mosquito nets treated with insecticide to the pupils of Tanganyika.

Translated from French by Benedict Adjah

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Mandela Longa Ntutula

Ancien Enfant Reporter de Kalemie formé par l’UNICEF, Mandela Longa Ntutula est aujourd'hui journaliste et continue son combat en encadrant la nouvelle génération d’Enfants Reporters.

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