Uganda is one of the 10 countries where malaria is still a major problem. That is why Care Plus® has started local activities here to protect the local population. To encourage local involvement in the proper storage and use of nets, we have the nets printed by Twiga Ventures with a popular print. This is based on research by scientist and mosquito & malaria expert Bart Knols. At the beginning of 2020, Care Plus® started a collaboration with the Bambino Life Foundation. This way, we contribute to the fight against malaria in Uganda, where especially children and young women are victims of this disease.
With our team, we will continue to support the fight against malaria with products, information and education.
Bambino Life Foundation
The Bambino Life Foundation was founded by Ashaba Faridah, a commercial Pilot who wanted to make a difference in her community. The Bambino Life Foundation promotes girl child education and empowerment, provides a better life for children living in orphanages, and also creates awareness about children living with disabilities.
Through the girl child program, they teach young girls in rural areas hands-on skills like making reusable pads, among other activities in boot camps. The aim is to promote sustainable communities that don’t rely on donations to survive and to provide school materials needed for a better education.
Young mothers will receive a mosquito net to protect themselves and their family. For distributing the nets, we partner with Twiga Ventures. Based on their experience, they print nice images on the nets which extend significantly the lifetime of a mosquito net and therefore provide better and longer protection against malaria.
Printed nets by Twiga Ventures
Twiga Ventures is a social enterprise, pressing nice pictures on mosquito nets in Uganda with the goal to deliver support to the eradication of malaria in Uganda. Yearly millions of mosquito nets are spread throughout Uganda. People don’t like to use a net, because it reminds them daily of dangerous mosquitos. On average, they are used only for 6 to 9 months to sleep under it. After that it will be used as a fishing net, chicken house cover or crops cover, or even as a wedding dress or other creative goals.
When we press nice pictures on the net from something they like, they decide to sleep under the net with the nice decoration and they don’t relate the nets with danger any longer. People will take better care of the net and they will use it longer as a mosquito net. The first research showed a tremendous increase of properly used nets.
The importance of printing bednets
Lullabies are sung by Ugandan mothers to pray their children have pleasant dreams and wake up healthy each morning. This is not a given with the risk of malaria always being present. This video, created by HP in cooperation with Bart Knols and Twiga Ventures, visualises the importance of printed bednets. The bednet, when used correctly, has proven to be an effective tool to protect people against malaria, a disease that kills some 400.000 people annually. Malaria affects mainly young children and pregnant women in Africa. In many countries bednets are being distributed free of charge to vulnerable people. However, bednets are increasingly being misused for other purposes such as fishing, crop protection, and even to make bridal veils. This misuse has resulted in an increase in malaria mortality in recent years. But how can we avoid this and stimulate that people use the bednet correctly? That can be done by personalising the net with a beautiful printed image. Something people really like. And when people like something, they will use it better and take better care of it. That’s how printed bednets contribute to the fight against malaria.
The efforts of Twiga Ventures to get mosquito nets to be used for the purpose they are intended by printing images on the nets
In Uganda, 60 million mosquito nets are distributed each year, while there are only 30 million inhabitants. This means an average of 2 nets per person per year, which should be enough to protect against mosquitoes as the life span of a mosquito net is around three years if used correctly. However, many of the mosquito nets distributed for free are misused, for example bridal veils, fishing nets and chicken coops.
In this interview between Arnoud Aalbersberg, Chief Mosquito Officer at Travel Health Group, and Willem van Prooijen, Managing Director of Twiga Ventures in Uganda, you will hear what a reduced awareness of risk and life survival have to do with this misusage. It also talks about how Twiga Ventures achieved a raise in mosquito net usage around the bed as intended from 20% to 80% (research by Twiga Ventures and the Malaria Consortium) by printing mosquito nets. Moreover, you will hear how rotary clubs and Care Plus® support the distribution of the printed nets to rural areas.
Rotary Stop Malaria – Club Midden Betuwe-Valburg
The Rotary Stop Malaria project is initiated by Rotary Club Midden Betuwe-Valburg the Netherlands, Rotary Club Muyenga and Rotary Club Kiwatule in Kampala, Uganda. Together they have the goal to distribute 1 million mosquito nets to children age 8-14 years in Uganda. Therefore, they work together with Malaria Consortium, Ministry of Health, Uganda and Rotary Clubs worldwide. The challenge has started!
At the end of November 2020, the first 2000 mosquito nets were distributed in Ssese Islands, an archipelago with a very high malaria density. The printed mosquito nets were distributed by local Rotary Clubs.
The Coffee Quest
The Coffee Quest Europe is a green coffee importer based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with strong roots in four continents. The company sets out to supply high quality “Coffee with Added Value”, making a difference in the coffee value chain by highlighting the importance of Transparency, Collaboration and Quality.
The Quest to find quality coffee has taken us to different origin countries in Latin-America and Africa. Taking on the challenge to support farmers efforts towards producing a sustainable cup of coffee.
With this in mind, The Coffee Quest has joined the Buy One, Give One campaign. These efforts help our farmers to continue the production of high quality coffee and fight malaria.
Malaria-free World Campaign by The Coffee Quest
Since the start of the collaboration between The Coffee Quest and Care Plus® in the fight against malaria in March 2020, The Coffee Quest has successfully distributed 900 mosquito nets among members of four coffee cooperatives in Uganda. The latest net distribution was in December 2020 with the help of UCFA and four partner roasters: Felixkaffee, Zwarte koffie, Beans Coffee Roasters and Spot on Coffee Roasters.
The Dutch Malaria Foundation
Arnoud was co-founder of the Dutch Malaria Foundation. The Dutch Malaria Foundation is a charitable organization that supports innovative ways to fight malaria and makes existing knowledge and information about fighting malaria available to stakeholders all over the world. In 2020 The Dutch Malaria Foundation facilitated donations for distribution of our nets in Uganda. If you want to make a donation to support the distribution of more nets, please visit the Dutch Malaria Foundation.
Drive Against Malaria (DAM)
The Dutch-English NGO & Medical Aid Organisation Drive Against Malaria treats children and pregnant women in Cameroon and distributes hundreds of protective mosquito nets for each family. “To prevent people from having to travel unnecessarily, we drive our Land Rover from village to village. Along the way, people stop to thank us and wherever we are recognised, wherever we are” explains David Robertson, founder of DAM. DAM has been committed to the prevention and treatment of malaria for years.
“Every consultation day is a special and moving event for the residents, when we give everyone a warm welcome and reassure all children and their mothers. We give them the utmost confidence that all sick children will receive the best quality medication and will be cured quickly. In addition, each family receives an impregnated net, which will protect them for the next three years.”
Julia Samuël, who supervises the project for DAM: “As soon as the people in the crisis area of South-West Cameroon realise that we are persistent and we visit their villages, they are filled with joy! The gratitude of the residents is overwhelming. Families put welcome banners, flags, and balloons along the roads. In one of the villages, we were even welcomed by the village men performing traditional dances. This is how the villagers show how much the aid means to them. It is very touching. They trust us. For the families, we are the only lifeline for their children. The villagers see us as one of them, as their brothers and sisters. Their village is our village, their house is our house. When we are in the villages, the fear of violence disappears. It is an uncertain time for everyone.”
While banners and flags for DAM fly along the long roads from village to village, a fierce battle rages “just around the corner”. The rebels are seeking refuge in the mountain forests but have kept a low profile so far. Insurgents wanted to set fire to one of the villages, but when they saw the Drive Against Malaria flag flying high on the mast, they retreated. David Robertson: “We were welcomed as heroes everywhere. A crowd of over 200 people welcomed us at the entrance of the village this morning.”
Julia: “We will continue with our mission as long as the families and their children need us. And it is precisely in this crisis that we must not abandon them. We are here to help the residents. And particularly children under 10 years of age. Many have lost all their possessions and are affected by the violence. We must prevent them from being hit by a devastating malaria outbreak as well.”
“For more than 10 years now, we have been working very closely with Travel Health Group. The Care Plus® range stands for quality, innovation, and protection. Just like our company, Elements BV, Travel Health Group is a company with a mission and a vision – this is why our partnership is so far-reaching. It is very encouraging for us to know that for every Care Plus® product sold, a contribution is made to a greater goal; a malaria-free world by 2030” – Elements, distributor Care Plus®.