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Mosquito nets can help keep entire families safe from infectious bites that lead to malaria or dengue. Babita and her siblings (not pictured) lived in a malaria-prone area and had even contracted the mosquito-borne disease before. They were given mosquito nets at a GFA-supported gift distribution to help keep them safe from future infection.

April 2018 • Vol. 14, No. 3

Sleeping Under a Surprise

"We do not have mosquito nets, and during the night, many mosquitoes would bite us,” shares 22-year-old Babita, the eldest daughter in a family of six.

But worse than the itch of the bites were the diseases those mosquitoes carried. Babita lives in an area highly affected by malaria. Dozens of people died from the infectious parasite every year, and many others were weakened by the fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and intense abdominal and muscle pain it often causes.

Babita was familiar with the effects of malaria.

“In my family we had malaria sickness, and we had medicine and stayed in the hospital,” Babita recalls.

But tonight would be different. Tonight her family could sleep in peace.

A Village Riddled with Troubles

Malaria wasn’t the only problem in Babita’s village. No one in the village had bathrooms, and when monsoon season came, heavy rains flushed waste from the ground and left it in pools to grow diseases. From there, it would trickle down into the streams where villagers gathered water for their daily use. Such stagnant ponds provide perfect breeding grounds for swarms of mosquitoes.

When GFA-supported workers first arrived in the area, it didn’t take long for them to recognise simple changes that could radically transform this village—like providing mosquito nets.

World Malaria Day

On World Malaria Day, Babita didn’t go with her parents to work in the fields as she often did; instead, she stayed behind to attend a special event put on by GFA-supported workers. This was just one event of hundreds hosted throughout Asian villages and slums. Workers taught people about the parasite and instructed them in the proper use of mosquito nets—something they gave freely to needy families like Babita’s.

“I feel happy when I receive this mosquito net,” Babita shares. “I will take these mosquito nets home, and before my parents come in from the field, I will put them on the bed and give them a surprise.”

Such “surprises” are made possible by you. Thank you!

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