I am happy that I got a net for me and my children … no more mosquito, no more malaria.
– Philomena Edet
Philomena Edet – pregnant with her seventh child – had never owned a mosquito net. She didn’t even know that treated nets could protect her family from malaria.
But she and her family had been infected with malaria, many times. In fact, the money needed to pay for malaria treatment was cutting into the proceeds she earned from her kerosene business.
Philomena and her family live in Nigeria’s Cross River State, where the tropical rainfall climate exposes more than four million people to the risks of malaria year-round. Throughout Nigeria, malaria accounts for more than 30 percent of children’s hospital visits and 10 percent of deaths of pregnant women every year.
Between April and June 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs’ Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria, working with the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), distributed more than 2.3 million nets to people like Philomena. She picked up her net at one of 971 distribution points across the state.
No place was left behind. The distribution teams crossed several rivers to reach even the remotest areas of Cross River State.
Meanwhile, to help Philomena and others learn about the importance of mosquito nets, Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria produced a dozen radio spots in four languages and aired them roughly 3,000 times on five radio stations across Cross River State, Nigeria.
When Philomena and her daughter picked up their nets, they were also taught how to use and care for them.
“I am happy that I got a net for me and my children,” she says, adding that she hopes this means, “no more mosquito, no more malaria.”