A project that aims to save up to 40,000 lives was launched by Bishop Ken Good at the Derry and Raphoe diocesan synod. Nets Work is a year long diocesan project to raise enough funds to buy 20,000 mosquito nets in Nigeria. The launch took place on Wednesday 24th October, in Jacksons Hotel Ballybofey.
Mosquito nets are a surprisingly effective weapon in the fight against malaria. The mosquito (the female – is the one that passes malaria and is silent, unlike the male) normally bites between 10pm and 5am. When people sleep under mosquito nets it protects them during the most vulnerable time of the day.
In one area where a project to distribute mosquito nets took place the death rate from malaria fell by 67%. The World Health Organisation estimates that there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2010 resulting in 655,000 deaths. This is equivalent to roughly 2000 deaths every day.
A net costs around £5 / €6 but for a family who spend more than 90% of their income on food this is an expense they cannot afford. Sadly, in many rural communities having a fever is just a way of life so this project also educates communities on how that fever is caused and how it can be prevented.
Nets Work, running throughout most of 2013, will see members of the diocese, parishes, families, schools, businesses, clubs, organizations and individuals encouraged to be as creative about finding ways of sending as many nets to Nigeria as possible.
Bishop Ken Good said “ I am very excited that Derry and Raphoe has identified a life-saving project in Nigeria – providing thousands of mosquito nets for people who can’t afford them”. A short promotional video for Nets Workwas shown at the synod and can be seen on the diocesan website www.derryandraphoe.org
Nets Work is a joint diocesan initiative with Bishops’ Appeal and Christian Aid. Christian Aid’s partner (Anglican Diocesan Development Services) will distribute the mosquito nets. Christian Aid hopes that by the end of their four-year programme all of its partners will have distributed a total of 250,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Nigeria.
Bishops' Appeal is a Church of Ireland body that channels funds through development agencies and partner churches who are already in place in areas of need. Nets Work is a way for the diocese to mark the 40th anniversary of Bishops’ Appeal.