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Bed Nets - A Formidable Weapon Against Malaria In Africa

April 25 is Africa Malaria Day. This day is marked by African leaders to stress on the devastating effects malaria has on the continent, and especially on its younger// citizens.

Every day 3000 African children die, and a million children are killed every year.

This year in Canada, as a continuation of last year’s efforts by Canadian MP Belinda Stronach and satirist Rick Mercer, the campaign: Spread The Net, is poised to do more of that. Under the motto "Ten bucks. One bed net. One life," the campaign aims to send 500,000 bed nets to Liberia and Rwanda over the next two years. UNICEF has agreed to distribute the bed nets.

Bed nets can reduce the rates of malaria say experts. UNICEF studies suggest that proper use of insecticide-treated bed nets, especially at night when mosquitoes tend to bite, can cut transmission in half, and reduce under-five mortality from all causes by up to 25 per cent.

According to the World Health Organization, malaria is constantly occurring in over 100 countries, including most of sub-Saharan Africa and New Guinea; large areas of South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Haiti, Central and South America; and parts of Mexico, the Dominican Republic, North Africa and the Middle East.

They suggest the most effective strategy for preventing malaria infection is to avoid being bitten by infected mosquitoes. This would include staying indoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are biting most, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, sleeping under a mosquito net impregnated with an insecticide such as permethrin and the use of DEET-based insect repellents.

A study carried out by Feiko Ter Kuile, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine showed that pregnant women in Africa could reduce their risks of miscarriage or stillbirth by a third just by sleeping under insecticide treated bed nets. The number of babies born with a low weight also fell by about a quarter, while using bed n
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