Saving Lives From a Tiny Killer One Net at a Time in Kampot
By Tim Sturrock
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Cambodia Daily
|Photo by Tim Sturrock/The Cambodia Daily Marc Gold hands out mosquito nets to villagers in Kampot Province|
Kampot province -
Aside from the smiles of the people in Kampot district's Dong village as they
received mosquito nets last week, Marc Gold said there was something else that
motivated him to raise money for the needy.
"If you imagine
any of those faces sick and dying of malaria and imagine preventing it....
That's a fantastic feeling," said Gold, a 58-year-old psychology and public
health instructor in California.
And so last week
Gold traveled to Dong, a village surrounded by rice fields in Stung Keo commune,
along with members of the National Malaria Center to distribute 330 mosquito
Gold said that he
has been interested in malaria for some time, and after learning about The
Cambodia Daily Mosquito Net Campaign he decided to donate money from his charity
the 100 Friends Project.
The 100 Friends
Project donated 200 nets that were handed out along with another 130 nets from
the Mosquito Net Campaign in Dong village. A further 470 nets from the campaign
were also distributed in Anlong Markprang village, according to the NMC.
killed over 200 million people in the last 100 years," Gold said. "It kills a
lot of children."
In Cambodia about 100,000 were infected with malaria in 2006, compared to about 74,000 in 2005, an increase that some attributed to heavy rains last year.
died of malaria in the first six months of this year, compared to 121 in the
first six months of 2006, according to the NMC.
One Dong villager
Vun Nim, 45, said he felt responsible for his wife's malaria infection several
months ago. The mosquito net his family, including his two children, used had
become so tattered that it could not be mended and was no protection from
Vun Nim said he
couldn't afford the few dollars it would have taken to buy another net. Though
his wife recovered from the disease he was still worried over the last few
months that another member of his family might contract the disease.
Dr Duong Socheat,
NMC director, said that public education programs have gone a long way toward
preventing the disease in Cambodia but mosquito nets are a huge part of the
There's also an
economic impact to preventing malaria, Duong Socheat said, explaining that
people who stay healthy won't lose money by missing work because of the illness.
Gold said that
simply donating money wasn't enough and that he wanted to actually see the
villages receiving his nets.
"If one person doesn't get malaria because of today that's great," Gold said during the net distribution. "It's something bad that didn't happen."