Malaria kills over one million people each year, 80% of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya. Most of these are young children.
Mosquitoes breed in swampy or damp areas, and therefore tend to appear during the rains. In Kenya there are usually two rainy seasons, March to May and October/November. At these times the risk of contracting malaria can be high. Malaria is spread by the female anopheline mosquito, which takes blood from humans, and in so doing passes on a deadly parasite. This is usually between dusk and dawn, so people are often attacked whilst asleep.
If a person has malaria many times, he/she may eventually become immune, but young children have not had time to build up this immunity. Drugs may be used, but these are expensive, and may have side-effects. One of the cheapest and effective methods of avoiding the disease is through the use of mosquito nets, costing about £1 each, but these are too expensive for many people.
In May 2006, we provided funding for the purchase of nets for all of the boarders, which will decrease their chance of contracting malaria considerably.