In the years since Bill Gates retired his position as CEO of MicroSoft Corporation, he and his wife Melinda have devoted tremendous effort to battling malaria. Malaria and the mosquitoes that transmit it is the single greatest killer of humans in the world, accounting for most of the 700,000+ mosquito-caused deaths annually. But unlike many of the other major problems in the world, solutions to the malaria epidemic are available now.
The Gates Foundation is partnering with the NGO World Vision to give away 100,000 bed nets. These nets protect families from mosquitoes that carry deadly diseases, including malaria. Each one is treated with an insecticide solution that kills mosquitoes but is safe for humans to touch. Insecticide-treated bed nets have played an enormous role in the fight to end malaria.
If you are willing to take two minutes to learn more about the fight against malaria, and take a one question quiz, Mr. Gates has pledged to donate a bed net on your behalf to a family in Inhambane province–an area in the south African country of Mozambique where malaria is common. You can do this at the Gates Notes Bed Net Giveaway website.
On a related note, my wife and I recently watched a film about the malaria problem in Mozambique called Mary and Martha, with Hillary Swank playing an American mom who loses a son to malaria. It’s a sad but compelling and uplifting film, well worth watching. And it shows how a simple thing like a treated bed net can make a world of difference for families in another part of the world.