Save a Life, Give a Mosquito Net

9775720701_3bbdfe9c78_n - Flikr photo

boy with net  photo courtesy Vestergard Fransen and


How would you like to save a child’s life this Christmas or New Year? Ten bucks will do it.

The statistics are unfortunate: every single minute – that’s every sixty seconds – a child dies from malaria. It’s especially sad because the disease is both preventable and treatable. And prevention is easy. Mosquito nets do the trick.  Mosquito nets also prevent the same kind of mosquitos from spreading Ebola and West Nile virus.  Now there’s a free bonus.

It’s amazing what you can find and learn when you shop online. Because I live in an area that has a high population of bloodsucking insects, I decided to  give myself a mosquito net for the holidays this year.  In the process of hunting for one, I found this really great website,, affiliated with the UN, which focuses on getting nets where they are most needed, in Africa.

This charity asks $10 for a net. Since I have gone through all the hoops of “Should I make mine or buy it?” I am in a solid position to tell you it would be tough to make a good one for that kind of money. The netting should be small enough to keep the target population OUT for one thing. I currently have a mosquitero that I bought in Costa Rica a couple of years ago, and I lie there beneath it watching my local bugs transit in and out with abandon. In a place like Africa, you would also want your net to be coated with insecticide, so that even if they got in, they wouldn’t be in any shape to bite you.

The nets provided by look like good ones.  The March 2009 photo shows products of disease textile company Vestergaard Frandsen being used in resource-poor areas of Kenya.  So this holiday I’m buying one for some child in Africa. How about you? Feel like reducing disease and itching as well as spreading a little cheer this year? You can take it off your taxes, too.  Check out the website at