Few here have not heard of Wisconsin’s “Imagine no Malaria” campaign. This congregation gave generously toward Wisconsin’s goal of one million dollars. It was surpassed last June! That means many of the 450,000 Liberians served by the Ganta United Methodist Hospital now have life-saving treated mosquito nets. Deaths in Africa have been cut by half.
One thing learned was that often the recipients of the nets need to be retrained to be fully effective. Sometimes, it may just mean an additional reminder to consistently use them. Dave Harsh found that out the hard way. On one of his trips to Liberia, this time with a youth group, it was 1 a.m. on the day of arrival, and very hot, and no mosquitos in sight. A net is not cool. So it was not used. This next morning he was covered with over 200 bites from Malaria carrying mosquitos. The days that followed were not happy, but he learned his lesson. Anti-malarial meds did work for him. But they did not for one of the teen girls on the trip.
One lesson: in Liberia, the time shift for malaria carrying mosquitos is between 2 and 4 a.m. Of course, that’s why the nets are so effective. Other species of mosquitos in Liberia are only annoying.
Retraining, net replacements, and growing families need more nets. Sturgeon Bay did great on this campaign. Now, please keep it going with the necessary follow up.
Dave Harsh, for the Committee on Mission