The UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign has announced a donation of 75,000 bed nets from chemical company and long-lasting, insecticide-treated net manufacturer BASF to refugee camps across the Horn of Africa region, through the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).
A statement from BASF said in response to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, the Nothing But Nets campaign — a global, grassroots campaign to fight malaria in Africa — launched an urgent appeal to help the UNHCR provide 150,000 bed nets to families fleeing drought, famine, and conflict in the Horn of Africa region.
“We are very grateful to BASF for donating 75,000 anti-malaria nets to help us protect families at risk in the Horn of Africa as quickly as possible,” Chris Helfrich, director of the Nothing But Nets campaign said in a statement received in Nairobi on Wednesday.
“This gift from BASF boosts our appeal past the half-way mark less than one month after its launch, truly proving the power of partnerships.”
According to the organizations, the refugee camps are crowded and typically located on swampy plots of land, creating an environment where malaria-carrying mosquitoes multiply quickly and easily carry the disease between people.
Dadaab is home to more than 400,000 registered refugees, nearly all of them are Somalis, with an estimated 70,000 people having arrived in July and August as conditions in their homeland rapidly deteriorated.
According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), access to insecticide-treated bed nets can help curb the spread of malaria by up to 90 percent.
“Providing these nets will save lives in the Horn of Africa – that’s a simple fact. This generous contribution will have a huge impact as malaria is one of the main causes of death among refugees,”Greg Millar, senior officer of the UNHCR said.
Dr. Egon Weinmueller, head of BASF’s public health initiative said his organization was strongly committed to support the fight against malaria.
“When engaging in relief efforts, we search for partners that have the experience and expertise to ensure our bed nets are quickly brought to the people that need them the most. We are delighted to team up with Nothing But Nets and UNHCR in this effort to strengthen health and hopes in refugee camps in the Horn of Africa,” said Weinmueller.