19 July 2011 You can now help save lives via your mobile phone. All it takes is just one text message and a £5 donation to pay for the delivery of a life-saving mosquito net, which can protect two people for up to three years.
Uganda has the third highest death-toll from malaria for under fives in the world. A long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito net from Malaria Consortium was all it took to ensure the ongoing survival of this Ugandan family’s baby.
Sarah and Byron’s bubbly eight month old son sits happily on his father’s knee, revelling in the attention. Christened ‘Goodluck’ by his parents because of their joy at his safe arrival, the name embodies this couple’s outlook on life.
Having already miscarried one child due to a severe bout of malaria, Sarah was terrified that the same thing would happen while pregnant with Goodluck. “When my first baby died, I was devastated,” she explains. “I had carried him for six months and I already loved him. We buried the baby and I cried and cried.”
On finding herself pregnant again, Sarah was very cautious. Yet despite her regular check ups, without the protection of a mosquito net, she developed malaria during the final stages of pregnancy. “I was terrified. This time, I went straight to the hospital and they gave me special medication until I delivered a healthy baby. Since we’ve had the net, we have not had malaria at all.”
A healthy baby isn’t the only good news story for this young family. On average, families spend 10 percent of their annual income on malaria and it costs Africa $12 billion a year.
“The net means so much to us, not only is our child healthy, but we are also free to work; we are not spending all our money on malaria treatment and medication,” explains Byron. “Whenever I’m working, I’m doing it for my son and for my wife. He is our future.”
To donate via text message to Malaria Consortium, and support our activities to beat malaria in Africa and Asia, text SAVE 25 followed by the amount you want to donate to 70070.