Henriette is a young mother of three in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Not so long ago, her youngest son, Laurique, caught malaria. When Henriette was still pregnant with him, she had learned about the importance of sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets to protect her family from malarial mosquitoes. But she could not afford to buy a net.
Henriette sleeps with her three children under the insecticide-treated net received during the 2012 campaign. © UNICEF DR Congo/2012/MARTINOThankfully, after UNICEF and partners began distributing bed nets in DRC, Henriette finally got one last year. Laurique is now being treated, and the entire family is now sleeping safely. Today is World Malaria Day. Not all children who contract this deadly, yet preventable, disease are as lucky as Laurique. In fact, a child dies of malaria every 60 seconds. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets and anti-malarial drugs are effective, simple and low-cost tools to safeguard children from this silent killer. UNICEF is the world’s largest buyer of bed nets, procuring 25 million in 2011. But that is still not enough to reach every child — especially as nets are expiring and need to be replaced. You can join this effort by purchasing an Inspired Gift of insecticide-treated bed nets or anti-malarial drugs. Inspired gifts are actual items that go to where the need is highest. Just $18.57, for example, will provide three bed nets to keep families sleeping safely. And for $31.88, you can provide 30 children with anti-malarial drugs if they do get malaria. On World Malaria Day, you can help UNICEF keep children safe from this easily preventable disease.