Nepal Village Foundation is currently working in three village panchayats to improve the wellbeing of Dalits and the poorest of the poor by enabling access to education and learning. These three village panchayats fall in the region that is regarded as a high risk of malaria. Economic loss, particularly to the poorest is severe when the malaria mosquito infects them. This also affects the children’s health and progress in their studies. This project will distribute and install 1,200 treated mosquito nets to the 600 poorest families in the villages. We believe, due to the findings from the previous project that this project will contribute significantly towards achieving the above aim and reduce the risk of death.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Even though Nepal is globally recognised as a country of Hills and Himalayas, it has a flat land stretching from east to west. The flat land is known as the Terai and it has a sub-tropical climate with many lakes and ponds. This water and sub-tropical climate creates a perfect environment for the deadly malaria mosquito to grow. The Terai is also regarded as a high risk area for malaria by many national and international institutions.
High levels of poverty and double digit inflation in the country makes it extremely difficult for the poorest to afford any protection against malaria. Economy loss, particularly to the poorest is severe when infected by malaria mosquito. Three thousand people were infected last year according to Nepalese Government’s statistics but this number could be significantly higher as many incidents in the villages do not get reported. This is because many people in rural villages are not aware of the symptoms of malaria and are ignorant of appropriate prevention plans. Death by malaria is also significantly higher in comparison with other diseases in the Terai. The high risk area in Nepal is highlighted in red on the map.
How will this project solve this problem?
This project will raise awareness about the prevention of malaria, distribute and install 1,200 treated mosquito nets to the 600 poorest families in three village panchayats where, currently we are working. The mosquito net will last for five years. So, the 600 families will be less likely to get infected by malaria mosquito for five years.
What are the potential long term impact/benefits?
Nepal Village Foundation aims to improve the wellbeing of Dalits and the poorest of the poor in rural villages of Nepal by enabling access to education and learning. Economic loss, particularly to the poorest is severe when infected by malaria. This also affects the children’s health and progress in their studies. We believe that this project will contribute significantly towards achieving the above aims and reduce the risk of death.
How much will cost?
The total project cost is £4,800 and it will take three months to complete. The cost of purchasing 1,200 treated mosquito nets is £3,750, project planning and design £300, implementation £500 and monitoring and reporting £250.
Learnings from the previous Mosquito net project
In 2009, we distributed and installed 500 mosquito nets to the 350 poorest families in Bhagawatpur village panchayat. At the distribution event, more than 500 people were gathered and we discussed many simple yet effective methods for prevention of malaria. Five years later, from the information we have gathered the following has been observed.
Fewer people visited Pharmacies to look for medicine of their symptoms and not a single death was reported in the village from malaria. One of the beneficiaries said: ‘after I got the mosquito net my families and I slept better and had fewer mosquito bites.’ This has also reduced the cost of medicines significantly to the families and enabled them to work and earn more to meet their basic needs and necessities. Consequently, we are repeating this project as the life of the mosquito net is only five years. However, the deadly house fire in 2012 destroyed the entire livelihoods of the 30 families and put them back into real economic difficulty.