Sudan

Urgent Plea for Mosquito Nets as Thousands Suffer from Malaria in Darfur

UK-based charity Kids for Kids is in desperate need of donations to support the thousands of people stricken by malaria in Darfur, Sudan.

Darfur, located in Western Sudan, is one of the most isolated and impoverished regions of the world, with life a daily struggle for the local people.

The Health Emergencies Committee of El Gezira, south of Khartoum, reported this week that nearly 60,000 people have already contracted malaria in North Darfur, whilst the spread of Chikungunya, which is incurable, is also carried by mosquitoes.

Sadly, there are insufficient drugs to treat malaria in Darfur and, with recent economic instability and floods in the country causing inflation to soar to a staggering 200% this month, it is unlikely the majority of villagers will have access to medication.

Patricia Parker MBE, Founder of Kids for Kids, says “despite inflation being at 200%, I have just authorised the purchase of 3,000 mosquito nets to be bought for 47 additional villages (5 already adopted, the others applying to us this year) at the cost of £31,113. These will be distributed urgently as 60,000 people have malaria in Darfur right now, including our Project Officer. Mosquitoes also spread Chikungunya – an incurable disease which causes high fever and severe pain. Our nets have a small mesh to keep out sand-flies which spread diseases including vomiting and diarrhoea. Children who are already malnourished succumb easily. They sleep on the sand in the straw huts which people call home in the villages of Darfur so are especially at risk.”

Patricia goes on to explain, “People are facing starvation. Many families are down to one scant meal a day. There is widespread malnutrition and I have asked for a project to provide flour urgently. That too will be very costly. This is so sad - the aim of Kids for Kids has always been to promote self-sustainable projects to enable people to help themselves – but now they need urgent life-saving help and we must respond.”

Patricia is hopeful that sanctions against Sudan are lifted soon but realises that “any inward investment or alleviation of the country’s debts will take months to have an effect on either the economy, or life in remote regions. I believe we have to realise that we must provide emergency help where we can for the foreseeable months.”

Kids for Kids transforms the lives of communities in North Darfur by not only providing mosquito nets, but also an integrated package of sustainable projects, such as animal loans, installation of hand pumps, education for children and the training of first aid workers, midwives, accountants and paravets.

The charity is reaching its 20th birthday in 2021 and to date over 550,000 people have benefitted from its work.

Visit our website to donate Mosquito Nets to protect Families against these terrible diseases – https://www.kidsforkids.org.uk/shop/health/2-mosquito-nets/

For more information visit www.kidsforkids.org.uk

NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:

Kids for Kids was founded in 2001 by Patricia Parker MBE after her first-hand experience of the inexcusable conditions children were living in in Darfur, Sudan. The poorest families survive on less than £25 a year. With inflation soaring – 200% in October 2020 - and shortages of even the most basic of essentials, starvation is a real threat. Sudan is currently facing its worst food crisis in recent years and is now struggling with the spread of disease. Mothers cannot afford to feed their children protein in any form. Prolonged malnutrition damages growth, weakens bones and teeth, and destroys brain cells. The future is a bleak prospect for a mother who worries every day about how she can feed her little ones. There is no money to purchase basic essentials. There is no health care in villages. Kids for Kids is working hard to provide goats for milk to strengthen people’s immune systems and mosquito nets to every family in all our villages. We are also calling for support for our Soap Appeal. Please read about our Urgent Appeal for Soap here: www.kidsforkids.org.uk/SoapAppeal.

Kids for Kids adopts a village, introducing an integrated package of grass roots projects identified by the villagers themselves as things they are in need of most – and which will help them out of poverty long term. The ‘lend a goat’ scheme is the key focus of Kids for Kids although the training of midwives and first aid workers, planting sustainable forests and fruit trees, installing water pumps in villages so they have clean, fresh water and building kindergartens are all part of the charity’s work towards creating a sustainable and lasting change.

Kids for Kids has received support from many well-known personalities including HRH The Prince of Wales, Joanna Lumley OBE, Eamonn Holmes OBE, Julie Etchingham, His Holiness Pope Francis, Lord Carrington PC, Timothy West OBE, Miriam Margolyes OBE, and many others.

For details of Kids for Kids’ extraordinary support which has helped over 550,000 people to date, please do get in touch or visit our website: www.kidsforkids.org.uk.