Uganda, Day 6: Mosquito Nets Save Lives

Today I drove two hours out of Kampala to a rural village. On the way we stopped to watch a group of men digging a well. They told me that it would be the only source of water for their village and surrounding villages.

In the village, I met Josephine Mayaja. She is a 37-year-old-mother who works in a salon as a hairdresser. The tiny room that she lives in costs her $2 a month, and she struggles to pay for it.

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She and her children have contracted malaria many times, and she is aware that it kills. She found a treated mosquito net at the local market, which she now hangs over her bed, and it protects her whole family. She said she is relieved at the find because the clinic is 15 km away, and it's hard to get treatment. These nets cost PSI less than $10 to protect a family from malaria for three years.

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I then went on to watch a football match. During the match, we reach the crowd with lifesaving messages about malaria, clean water, and HIV/AIDS, and what products they can use to prevent these diseases. Our animated peer educators work with charts and demonstrations to educate the villagers. In the distance, I could hear loud cheers, and I realized that everyone was gathered in a small hut watching a PSI movie. The film is stopped for a break, and then PSA's come up on the different issues. A traveling van can be seen touring the streets to recruit people to these gatherings. It's another great example of how PSI uses any way possible to reach the underserved with life-changing products and services.

Kate's previous diary entries

Day 1: Off to Africa

Day 2: The Past, Present, and Future of Uganda

Day 3: Meetings with Orphans and Prostitutes

Day 4: The Go-Getters

Day 5: Pader Refugee Camps

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