Monday, August 13, 2007

Congo Malaria Train

Malaria kills more children under five than any other disease in Africa, and yet it is completely preventable. In the Congo alone, it is responsible for nearly a quarter of child deaths.

At the end of last week, the UN began a two-day mission to deliver 300,000 malaria nets to the Congo via the Congo-Ocean railway. The initiative, spearheaded by UNICEF (UN Children's Fund) and the Congolese government, targets 10% of the population, mainly children in high risk areas.

The train will stop at several small towns along its journey to Brazzaville, the capital, where nets will be dropped off for distribution free of charge in health centers and hospitals.

UNICEF's work in Congo doesn't stop there. UNICEF and its partners have rehabilitated several health centers, facilitating the distribution of vaccines. A large number of wells and latrines have also been constructed to improve access to water and sanitation. In addition, several schools have been rebuilt and are now able to provide basic services to the youth population.

In helping to curb malaria and improve public services, the impact of these projects will significantly increase and improve the lives of thousands of Congolese.