Emergency Request to the United Nations Foundation: Mosquito Nets for Malaria Prevention and Control for the Horn of Africa Refugee Crisis, in Kenya and Ethiopia / United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)/ March 2012 - March 2013

Photo of a Somalian family escaped to Ethiopia

The project focused on the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya and the Dollo Ado camps in Ethiopia. Malaria in these areas is endemic with parasite positive rates recorded from malaria slides and rapid diagnostic tests. Both countries are prone to endemics of malaria during the rainy season.

The project aimed at reducing the mortality and morbidity rate due to malaria for children aged 6 to 59 months by distributing the long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs). The funds were used for distribution, logistics, and social mobilization of LLINs and for monitoring and evaluation of all LLINs distributed during the October 2007 measles-plus campaign.

The project’s main objective, therefore, was the prevention of excess malaria morbidity and mortality by sensitizing the community on the use of LLINs to reduce infections and transmission of malaria.

The Nothing But Nets campaign provided a total of 109,400 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to UNHCR refugee camps in Kenya. 161,775 LLINs were distributed to 67,340 households in Dadaab and 507 community health workers were trained on background information, usage demonstrations, facts about malaria transmission and prevention, and on social mobilization. 30,900 LLINs were distributed to Kakuma Camp where several sessions were also held with the community health promoters and community members. 40,000 LLINS were sent and distributed in Ethiopia. One community health promoter for every 50 households was selected and given orientation training on malaria prevention. 

The smiling family in the picture fled Southern Somalia and crossed the border into Ethiopia. In May 2012, a pregnant Habiba received two mosquito nets while attending the ARRA Health Centre. Habiba and her husband Mohammed had learned about the mosquito net program through health center staff who toured the camp with a microphone. Habiba was given information on how to use the new nets and now recognizes the benefits for herself and her family.