German Gift Will Buy Nets For Africa

February 19, 2009

A UMNS Report

By Michelle Scott*

Feb. 16, 2009

A gift of approximately $130,000 from the United Methodist Germany Central Conference will provide mosquito nets in a national net campaign to take place in Sierra Leone next November.


The gift to Nothing But Nets builds on the conference's long-standing relationship in Sierra Leone.


The United Methodist Committee on Relief and other United Methodist representatives met with the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone in early February to discuss the upcoming national net campaign as a way to combat malaria in the West African country.


"UMCOR and the church in Sierra Leone are deeply appreciative of the generosity of the United Methodists in Germany and to the visionary leadership in mission of Bishop Rosemarie Wenner," said Sam Dixon (at right), UMCOR's top executive and the executive overseeing global health for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. "This is an excellent example of how United Methodists join hands in response to God's mission of health and healing."


Malaria, a major health problem in Sierra Leone, is one of the main reasons people come to the Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown. The need is so great that the hospital has difficulty keeping nets and malaria medicines in stock. "Nothing is sufficient," said Henrietta Emmanuel, who directs Kissy's malaria program.


Kissy Hospital and six rural clinics all participate in the Community-Based Malaria Control Program launched by UMCOR Health in 2005. The program educates communities about malaria and provides medicines and nets when they are available.


The national net campaign will help fill some of this great need by providing families with mosquito nets - many of which will be purchased using the Germany Conference's donation to Nothing But Nets.


Nothing But Nets is a United Methodist - endorsed project that supplies mosquito nets and training on how to use them. This project is operated through the United Nations Foundation, which uses its network established through the Measles Project to distribute nets and training. For $10, a net and training on how to use it will be donated through the United Nations' network.


UMCOR's Community-Based Malaria Control Program provides communities with comprehensive plans to combat malaria that are tailored to their specific needs. This initiative includes community training on basic measures to prevent sickness, offers free or low cost medications and provides consultations to those who are ill or who are especially vulnerable to malaria. The program also provides insecticide treated nets to pregnant women and families with young children.


You can give to help stop malaria. Checks can be dropped in collection plates at local United Methodist churches or mailed directly to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write the Advance number and name on the memo line of the check. To give to Nothing But Nets, please use UMCOR Advance #982015. To give to Community-Based Malaria Control, please use UMCOR Advance #982009. For credit card donations, visit UMCOR's web site at www.umcor.org for online giving information or call (800) 554-8583.

 

*Scott is executive secretary of communications for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.