3700 nets donated in September

Following is the press release from the September 14, 2010 delivery of 3700 mosquito nets to Angolan humanitarian organizations:

The Angola Mosquito Nets Project has been operational since 2000 and has raised approximately $175,000 from individual donors in Angola and overseas and from Angola-based oil companies and oil service companies.  The funds are used to buy mosquito nets and donate them to responsible aid/humanitarian organizations in Angola who then distribute them to Angolans in areas, mainly in the provinces, where there is a great need for mosquito nets.  To date, we have purchased and distributed about 25,000 nets from the funds raised.

This project is operated by volunteers, both expatriate and Angolan, and there are no administration or overhead costs involved.  We buy high quality, insecticide impregnated mosquito nets from a supplier in Luanda (CICCI Angola) at $7.50 per net.  Since we have no administration or overhead costs, all funds raised are dedicated to buying nets.  For example, if we received a donation of $750, we buy 100 nets with it and the donor is assured that the nets will be distributed to Angolans needing nets.

On Thursday, September 16 (10:00 AM) we will be donating 3700 nets to Save the Children, Development Workshop, Luanda TB Hospital, Benguela orphanage and various church organizations including the Baptist Mission.  The location is the CICCI office, Rua Fernado Mendes Pinto 38-40, Alvalade, Luanda.

Organizations which donated funds for these nets in the September 16 handover include Chevron, Tullow Oil, Statoil, Fugro, the Viking Club of Luanda, the International School of Luanda, families in Ireland, Norway and Canada and churches in the United Kingdom and Luanda.  In previous years, this project has also donated nets to organizations including Oxfam, UNICEF, Norwegian Refugee Council, Medair, Concern and church organizations.

Net recipients: Save the Children, Development Workshop, Luanda TB Hospital, Luanda Pediatric Hospital, PEPE Program (Preschool Education Program), Baptist Mission, Catete Catholic Mission, ProMica (Women Helping Women), Benguela Orphanage, Moxico Childrens Centre, Boys Home Huambo, Sergio Simao Alfabitazao (Literacy Program)





Angola Mosquito Net Project reaches the province of Bie

Teachers in rural areas and women participating in a micro credit program were the happy recipients of mosquitonets donated by our project to the international NGO, Concern Worldwide, which is working in the province of Bie. Approximately 500 teachers and administrative staff received nets and about 200 women who depend on their small vegetable farms to bring in an income, received free nets to help protect their families from malaria.

The teachers are part of a distant education programme and once a month all teachers come together for training. At their October workshop organized by Concern’s Education Officer, the teachers learned about malaria and what steps they must take to prevent it. Since nets are the first line of defence against malaria, they were excited to each receive their own family size net. They learned how easy it is to hang a net during the demonstration given at the workshop.

The Education Officer carried out a health survey with the people who were going to receive the donated mosquito nets and this is what he discovered:
1. The teachers have limited knowledge on what causes malaria, how to prevent it and how to use mosquito nets
2. The only anti-malaria campaign in these municipalities is the Government’s programme, which mainly targets pregnant women and children under the age of 5
3. The majority of families don’t use mosquito nets
4. The distance to the medical clinics are huge and many persons do not have access to basic services. In Cachingues where Concern has a big presence, some villagers have to walk more than 50 kilometres to reach the nearest health post. Additionally, all secondary roads have not yet been cleared for mines. Bie is one of the provinces that was the most heavily mined during the war. Halo Trust has recently started to clear one of the secondary roads. They found 8 mines during the preliminary test search
5. There is limited access to mosquito nets in rural areas

During the training session, several additional items were discussed such as using traditional herbal medicine for prevention and treatment and how to diagnose malaria.

Download the PDF announcement here.

Universo magazine features AMNP

The Angola Mosquto Net Project is featured in the latest issue of Universo magazine in an article about mosquito net distribution in Angola. The article is titled ‘Biting Back’ and can be read on Universo’s digital edition, pages 20 to 25 at http://view.vcab.com/?vcabid=enaSrrlcSccapgl. Universo is published in Angola by Sonangol.

Also featured in the article: USAID and UNICEF and mention of the recent trip by Elliot Yamin, a singer from the TV show American Idol and one of the show’s judges, Kara DioGuardi, who both came to Angola to distribute free nets. Their effort was facilitated by Esso Angola as Exxon Mobil is a sponsor of the tv show’s initiative Idol Gives Back.

Angola Mosquito Net Project featured in Vida magazine

The Angola Mosquito Net Project’s Committe Chairman Tako Koning was interviewed by Angola’s Vida mgazine, as part of their coverage of World Malaria Day on April 25. Click to download a PDF of the article, published on April 21. Vida is Angola’s popular arts, culture and business magazine that is printed weekly in Luanda. In the article, Tako discusses the project’s history, donors and partners, and highlights some of the Project’s net recipients, such as the Mobile Clinic outside of Luanda and the clinic in M’Banza Congo, Zaire province.

Nets donated to the Mobile Clinic

Happy to be receiving a mosquito net.

Happy to be receiving a mosquito net. Mobile Clinic Volunteer Viveca Chan, a nurse and their young patient.

The Angola Mosquitonet Project donated 700 nets in January to the Mobile Clinic, a small team of women who work with some of the 350 patients at the Tuberculosis Hospital in Luanda. Headed up by Bernie Nicholson, a registered nurse who formed the group six years ago, the women get donations to buy food and medicine and other necessities such as drinking water for some of the patients there whose families cannot afford to support them.

All tucked in and protected from mosquitoes.

All tucked in and protected from mosquitoes.

The patients that the team works with, each receive a mosquito net which they take home with them upon discharge. Viveca Chan, who has been working with tuberculosis patients in the hospital for four years, says, “Thank you, we have been able to give out more mosquito nets recently. The problem is just how to use them. It is high to the ceiling and not possible to attach them there. Mostly they try and get sticks to extend the posts of the bed. But many of the patients are too weak to walk, and many have no family to help either. “

Mounting a net on a hospital bed is a challenge.  Without leave to drill holes in walls or the ceiling, sticks are tied to bed posts and the net is tied to the sticks.

Mounting a net on a hospital bed is a challenge. Without leave to drill holes in walls or the ceiling, sticks are tied to bed posts and the net is tied to the sticks.

The Mosquitonet Project is happy to support the Mobile Clinic and thanks them for helping TB patients.

New findings about malaria in Luanda

Read some recently published information about malaria in urban Luanda:

  • Download a PDF of the five page report published in March 2009 in The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene journal, titled: “How Much Malaria Occurs in Urban Luanda, Angola? A Health Facility-Based Assessment”
  • Download a PDF  of the ‘Health facility-based evaluation of malaria in Luanda, Angola March 17-31, 2008′ poster

Thank you to USAID in Angola’s malaria experts Dr. Mihigo and Dr. Saute for providing the Angola MosquitoNet Project with this material .

Good things come in small packages

Although the MosquitoNet Project is small, for eight years we’ve been operating as volunteers with zero spent on overhead. We have managed to raise over $100,000 which translates into about 12,500 nets. Assuming that three or four people sleep under one family size net, this is equivalent to protection for at least 30,000 individuals.


A young mother carries a baby and a mosquito net package on her head.

The old expression “Good things come in small packages” could well be said about the Angola MosquitoNet Project. Firstly, the mosquito nets themselves are good things distributed in nice compact blue packages and secondly is the fact that compared to ambitious Africa-wide anti-malaria programs such as those sponsored by the United Nations, our initiative is tiny but good. Good because we catch the groups that fall in the cracks. These are groups or organizations headed by responsible people whom we know personally who are working in the hinterland of Angola as well as the ghettos inside the sprawling capital of Luanda but don’t qualify for or don’t have the logistical back-up or time to apply for mosquito nets from the big agencies.

Take for example Joan Woodyer, a British registered nurse working in the province of Zaire. Joan works in a clinic run by the Baptist Church in the province’s capital city, M’banza Conga. When she heard of the MosquitoNet Project she contacted us. We gave her church in Luanda 400 nets which they promptly shipped up to Joan.

Receiving nets is the easy part. Distributing nets however is a complicated and sometimes even political process. Everybody wants a mosquito net and when one village or neighborhood hears that their neighbors received nets, they want to receive the same gift. Joan said in her report to us, “We’ve finally got everything in place for distributing 200 nets in Sumpi. We met with the sobas (traditional rulers) from the town yesterday to make the final arrangements. We’re trying to make sure that every bairro (neighborhood) gets a fair distribution. We’ve arranged 5 dates in July when we’ll be giving out the nets – we’re planning to do two bairros each time. We will be targeting families with children under five and pregnant women.”

Mr. Kuki

Mr. Kuku of the Baptist Church in Zaire Province distributes nets in the town of Sumpi.

Once the distribution area has been designated and approved, the next step is to educate the recipients. Even though families love to receive a net, it is important that they actually use the nets. Everybody in Angola knows malaria and knows people who died because of malaria but not everyone realizes or is convinced of the prevention afforded by a mosquito net. In her report, Joan outlined that her team would do a presentation “on malaria and on using the nets to prevent malaria, before we actually give out the nets.”

The final and biggest hurdle, is translating knowledge into action – that is getting recipients to actually hang up the net. Usually part of the presentation about malaria and the use of nets includes a demonstration on how easy it is to hang a net. Each mosquito net package includes all the necessary strings and hooks. Joan’s team went a step further. She said, “We’ve asked each bairro in Sumpi to appoint two or three men who can help people hang the nets. We’ve said that we will be checking some houses to make sure that the nets are being used!”

The MosquitoNet Project managed to communicate with Joan by email (most of the main provincial centres are now getting internet access) and in our last email we asked her if she needed more mosquito nets. She replied, “Well, we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface. There are so many remote villages up here that could benefit. We visited one yesterday called Ndobo, right up on the border and was an hours drive off the main road down a small dirt track. The distance was only 20 kilometers but it took us an hour because the road was in such a poor condition. The village is in the middle of nowhere, it’s certainly the remotest place I’ve been to. We are going to give them the last 100 nets. If there’s any chance of having another 400 next time you have some to give out, we would gladly receive them.”

Our project’s goal is to raise enough funds to purchase 3,300 nets by the end of 2008. We definitely plan to have 400 small but good packages of nets to give to Joan for the villages in Zaire province.

Why the grim malaria stats for children?

Doctor diagnosing a child with malaria in Cunene province, Angola.

Doctor diagnosing a child with malaria in Cunene province, Angola.

We know mosquito nets are important for young children because they are more vulnerable to malaria, but why? According to the Angola Malaria Indicator Survey*, for about six months following birth, antibodies acquired from the mother during pregnancy protect children born in areas of endemic malaria. This immunity is gradually lost, and children start to develop their own immunity to malaria. The pace at which immunity is developed depends on their exposure to malaria infection. In areas where malaria is endemic and transmission is intense, children are thought to achieve a high level of immunity by their fifth birthday. Before then, young children may experience repeated episodes of malaria, some of them life-threatening such as cerebral malaria. This contributes to high childhood mortality rates in a number of countries. In areas of low malaria transmission, immunity is acquired more slowly.
In 2004 Angola reported 3.2 million cases of malaria, two-thirds of them in children under 5 years of age. It is estimated that malaria accounts for 35% of overall mortality in children under five and 60% of hospital admissions of children under five.

*The 2006-07 Angola Malaria Indicator Survey (AMIS) is the first survey in Angola to collect nationally representative data on malaria-specific indicators.

For more information about malaria and the Angola Mosquito Net Project, click here to download our latest update.

Update on latest mosquito net distribution

On April 30, 2008, the Mosquito Net Project celebrated their 6th net distribution by giving nets to the following organizations: Concern in Bie province (education program), Development Workshop (Local initiatives Program), Baptist Church medical centre M’Banza Congo, Missionary Scott McHaney for Baptist churches in Uige and the Lundas, the Palanca Negra Shepherds Program (Malange), Women in Alfalit (Bairro dos Ossos), Oxfam, Mothers in Creche program (Viana), Vida Abundante, Yme Cabinda, Lutheran church (maternity caregivers program Cunene- see photo below).

regnant Himba women pack their nosquito nets as they prepare for their trek back home from the Lutheran clinic in Chawikwa, in the province of Cunene.

Pregnant Himba women pack their mosquito nets as they prepare for their trek back home from the Lutheran clinic in Chawikwa, Cunene province.

Our project is now in its 8th year. When we have raised a substantial amount of money, we place an order for the nets (nowadays all nets are impregnated) and then hold a handover with donors and receivers. All the money donated goes to nets since we operate as volunteers and can boast 0% overhead.

Angola Mosquito Net Project volunteers

Participants at the April 2008 mosquito net handover

We have now raised a total of $101,457.00 to date and our goal for the end of 2008 is to reach the $125,000.00 mark, the equivalent of 15,600 family size nets. Key donors for our April handover include Chevron, Tullow Oil, Statoil Hydro, DNV, Yme Foundation Norway, and Oceaneering International.

To download a pdf of our 4 page July 2008 Project Update click here.

We did it!

The Angola Mosquitonet Project has exceeded the $100,000 mark thanks to a private donation of $1,500 received from a ‘Tullow Dublin Family’. This donation means we can purchase more nets and now include in our distribution the province of Cunene in the southern part of Angola. A group of 30 trained local maternal health care givers who help women in rural areas with pre and post natal care, will receive mosquito nets to distribute to the mothers as part of their health care training. In Angola, 25% of overall maternal mortality is attributed to malaria. The health care givers are part of a program run by the Lutheran Church in Angola.
Our new total is $101,457.00. A big thank you to each and everyone who has helped us exceed our previous goal. We are well on the way to the December 2008 goal of $125,000.