Uganda (MNN) — Uganda's health ministry is giving out free
mosquito nets in September. It's part of a strategy to fight malaria, the
number one killer in Uganda.
According to the World Health Organization, Uganda, a nation
of 30 million people, had an estimated 10.6 million cases of malaria in 2006, with
70,000 to 110,000 deaths a year.
Roger Thomas with
AMG International agrees that the disease is
taking a serious toll on work and development.
"At our childcare center in Igamba, we have about 250 children. At
least three children a week are taken into the clinic for treatment of
The government wants an insecticide-treated mosquito bed net
in 85 percent of households and wants to spray the interior of all homes in the most
hard-hit of districts by the years' end. Although the government priority will be given to children and pregnant
mothers, the problem is rampant. It's even more pronounced among the poverty-stricken, isolated regions.
That's why AMG is working in the poorest rural areas, where,
according to Thomas, "Most of their
homes do not have the mosquito nets that they need to protect them from the
mosquito bites." Homes that do
have nets usually have nets with holes in them or are no longer treated with
It has taken time to earn the community's trust. "We've
had cases where the parents come and take the children out of the clinic and
take them to the witchdoctor. Of course, they don't get any help; we've had
children die because of that. If we have our own clinic, which is under
construction right now, we'll be able to keep the children right there and
treat them for malaria."
Thomas says this will bear fruit. "Because you build a
relationship both with the children and the parents, and you're giving the
Gospel to the children, eventually the child, the family, and the whole
community is changed."
AMG is getting a short-term team together for
work in Uganda. The team will visit the
five AMG projects in and around Kampala as well as one located in Igamba, 70
miles east of Kampala. While at these projects, the team will minister to the more than 1,300
children supported through AMG.
Should the property purchased by AMG be ready
for construction, the team will help with building the new AMG orphanage. Other activities will involve teaching Sunday school and preaching two Sunday
mornings in various churches and ministering to the inmates in a men's and/or