Dear Friends, Thank you so much for the mosquito net donations, and over such a short period of time too! I’m happy to say that the bundle of one hundred nets I orderedhave been delivered to Jinja and even more importantly, my niece Mailies has arrived safely in Uganda from Johannesburg at the start of her ‘Ugandan experience’!! Living and working in the two areas where I am based on my visits to Uganda.
Mailies is staying in Jinja with Amasa, the son of my good friend Godfrey Mwase, who has been a helping hand and my guide in all things since my first years in Uganda. Amasa is at home after successfully completing his A Levels and is waiting for university to begin in September. He is very happy to show Mailies some of the highlights of the tourist capital of Uganda as Jinja is on the shores of Lake Victoria and the River Nile!
So for the first few days she is going to rest up and be a tourist, though I think it will be a matter of a ‘change is as good as a rest’ when she sees what we have planned for her!
Then on Wednesday 8th August, she and the mosquito nets will travel to Nawanyago where one of her jobs, with the help of my young team, will be to deliver the nets doanted to more of the children at Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School whose parents cannot afford to purchase one themselves. Charles, the head teacher, still has 70 children on the ‘neediest of the needy’ list who are still without nets, so 38 is a great start!
Malaria is still the biggest killer of young children in Uganda and the sad fact is that some parents don’t even name their children until they are over 5 years because they fear for their young lives! Pregnant women and the elderly are also at high risk of dying from secondary infections such as pneumonia when they are weakened with malaria. So a being able to use a mosquito net can make such a big difference to everyone.
The nets are hung using the pieces of material supplied with the nets with the addition of string where necessary, and attached to the ceiling above with nails.
It is also important that each family is given the correct directions for washing their nets as they cannot read the printed instructions on the bags. Ugandans love to wash clothes with great vigour but we have to advise them to wash the nets only very occasionally as they are inpregnated with an insecticide which increases their effectivelness greatly. The insecticide will only last twenty washes so the less washing the more protection they will have from mosquitoes an other disease carrying insects. So we instruct them to wash the nets very gently and as little as possible then lie them on towels in the shade to dry, not in the hot sun! We also warn them about the dangers of having a naked flame such as a candle near the nets as they are very inflammable. This fact I learnt during my last visit from Bosco, a member of the family we sponsor, who recently qualified as a nurse and has been treating babies and toddlers with horrific burns after the net that is protecting them from mosquitoes catches fire and the child has not been able to escape. Awful!
So friends IF you would like to contribute another mosquito net that would be wonderful! Let’s see if we can give every child on that ‘neediest of needy’ list, protection against the Malarian mosquito! If you would like to please make a donation of £5 and I will make sure Mailies receives it and can deliver your net. You will receive a personalised photo of your net being delivered, or you could donate your gift on behalf of someone else as an alternative birthday gift?
Thanks for your support once again and also for giving Mailies the opportunity of this humbling experience.