London, 16 April: “He was just skin and bone when he arrived. He was at death's door,” says Sister Arlette Mendes, who is cuddling Julio as he sits on her lap. She looks down adoringly at him. “He is such a happy boy now.”
Sister Arlette explains that his grandmother brought Julio to the mission four months ago following the death of his mother to cerebral malaria. “She asked us if we could take care of him as she had nothing at home to give him.” Julio had also suffered from malaria and this was one of the reasons why he was so sickly when he arrived.
Fortunately, the chance of malaria further devastating his life has been reduced dramatically. The Ministry of Women and Social Action recently requested that Malaria Consortium supplied treated mosquito nets for each of the 65 children staying at the mission.
“We had big problems with malaria,” says Sister Maria Juliana, who has been living at the mission for many years. “Before we had the mosquito nets about 25% of the children would get sick with malaria each month, now it is much less.”
Prompt and effective treatment for malaria is paramount. More children die of malaria than any other disease and malaria is responsible for 60% of children in hospitals.
“It is encouraging to see the difference it has made to the children in the mission in Nampula,” says Kate Brownlow, director of Malaria Consortium, Mozambique.
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