Jan. 4, 2008
Persons attending the Morningside College and Briar Cliff University women’s and men’s basketball games on Saturday, January 12, at Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center on the Morningside campus will have an opportunity to help prevent the spread of malaria in Africa.
The Rev. Kathy Olson, Morningside College chaplain, said Morningside students have organized activities before and during the basketball games to collect donations for “Nothing But Nets,” a program that purchases insecticide-treated bed nets for use primarily in Africa to prevent malaria transmission.
The women’s basketball game begins at 2 p.m., and the men’s game starts at 4 p.m. on January 12.
“Malaria infects nearly 500 million people each year and kills more than one million of those who become infected,” Olson said. “Ninety percent of deaths caused by malaria occur in Africa where the disease is a leading killer of children.”
Olson explained that one bed net, which costs just $10 to buy and deliver to individuals in need, can safely protect a family for about four years. Malaria is caused by a blood parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Bed nets prevent malaria transmission by creating a protective barrier against mosquito bites at night, when the vast majority of transmissions occur.
The founding partners of the “Nothing But Nets” program are the United Nations Foundation, the United Methodist Church, the National Basketball Association and Sports Illustrated magazine.