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Net distribution impact reaches far & wide

January 29, 2009

At the end of a week-long net distribution, nearly 1 million children are able to sleep soundly. After waking early and giving up their playtime to stand in long lines on a sweltering day, children under 5 across the West African country of Côte d’Ivoire went to bed knowing they will wake up the next day – without a single mosquito bite.

And it’s all because of a simple bed net.

In the fall of 2008, our Nothing But Nets campaign helped to distribute 855,000 insecticide-treated bed nets as part of an integrated measles campaign in Côte d’Ivoire, reaching all corners of the country – the towns, the beaches, and the most rural outlying areas. The free bed nets are a huge draw and are given out only after the children present their pinkies colored with blue marker proving they also received their measles vaccination, de-worming medication and a Vitamin A supplement.

Every day, we are helping to send bed nets to people in Africa to prevent malaria, the number one killer of children on the continent. But being on the ground makes the efforts of the UN Foundation and our partners a reality – and the impact is plain to see. The crowds of children and families waiting for their nets, smiling as they thank the health workers and volunteers, singing and dancing and crying, all tell a story of how a blue bed net is making a difference– it’s keeping them alive.

To aid in the distribution and see the impact for themselves, 35 members from a United Methodist Church in Texas shed tears of happiness and looked on in awe as they shared the life-changing moments of being part of a country-wide health campaign made possible by the United Nations, our partners and donors like you.

At the end of the day, everyone involved got what they wanted – the children got their life-saving nets, and we got to take part in something that will make a difference for years to come.

Watch the UN Foundation's Adrianna Logalbo's video report from on the ground in Côte d'Ivoire.