In order to search for sponsored children, you need to upgrade your Flash Player. Click here. If you have Javascript disabled, please enable it now.

A mother's heartbreak

A mother's heartbreak


One Kenyan boy's struggle against malaria — a leading cause of death among African children — illustrates why efforts to prevent it require increased funding.

April 2008

By John Kabubu, World Vision Kenya, and Janet Root, World Vision U.S.
Sylvia Sasai with her 7-year-old son, Lemashol
Sylvia Sasai shares a moment with her 7-year-old son, Lemashol, who has long suffered bouts of malaria.
Photo ©2008 John Kabubu/World Vision
Heavy rains beat the soil of Narok, Kenya, and local residents rejoice in the hopes of their crops soon springing to life.

But despite the joy rainy season downpours bring to this East African nation's southeastern region, disease looms. Malaria-infected anopheles mosquitoes proliferate in the stagnant water and long grasses.

Sylvia Sasai lives in Ntulele, one of several communities in Narok, a malaria-prevalent district that World Vision serves. A mother of seven, she has witnessed the force of this deadly illness that has caused her son, Lemashol, great suffering.

Painful symptoms

"Malaria makes my body feel weak. I get a fever and my body feels very hot, like it is on fire. I don't feel like eating when food is brought," says the 7-year-old, grimacing as he recounts malaria's excruciating symptoms.

"The first thing I feel is a big and painful headache … Sometimes, I go for even two weeks without going to school."

Lemashol's pain is not Sylvia's only concern for her son. Malaria causes more than 1 million deaths each year; most are African children. Though the preventable and treatable disease is under control in most places, sub-Saharan Africa is home to the most deadly species of mosquito that transmits it.

Knowledge is power

World Vision works hard to combat this child killer in Kenya and other African countries where malaria is rampant.

One primary prevention measure offered throughout our 16 Kenyan sponsorship program areas is community education. If knowledge is power, Sylvia is becoming a much stronger woman because of such training.

"When it rains [at] my house, water collects around it and brings mosquitoes that cause malaria," she says. "I think that water tanks would help me so that I collect this water when it rains instead of it gathering around the house and making my … family sick."

Malaria's decline attributed to bed nets

Lemashol, who knows firsthand the painful symptoms of malaria, is but one example of a child who would benefit from enhanced prevention measures, including insecticide-treated bed nets.
Lemashol, who knows firsthand the painful symptoms of malaria, is but one example of a child who would benefit from enhanced prevention measures, including insecticide-treated bed nets.
Photo ©2008 John Kabubu/World Vision

Recently, World Vision's Olenton area program staff distributed 300 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to as many households. Though a good start, it's not nearly enough to cover the little ones who remain vulnerable to malaria, including Lemashol.

A recent report indicates a paltry 5-percent insecticide-treated bed net coverage rate in African households. Meanwhile, one survey from Tanzania has shown that if 75 percent of an entire village sleeps under such nets, the malaria incidence among children can be reduced by as much as 98 percent.

World Vision plans to continue distributing bed nets, allowing mothers in Narok — and across Africa — to sleep more peacefully at night, knowing their children are safe.

Learn more


>> Read more about malaria and how it is spread.
>> Read "AIDS and malaria: A deadly duo."
>> Learn more about why Africa carries an "overwhelming proportion of the malaria burden."

Three ways you can help

>> Pray for Lemashol and millions of other African children who don't deserve to suffer malaria's painful symptoms or stand a high risk of death from contracting the disease. Pray also for the continued ability of organizations like World Vision to provide effective prevention measures to help stop malaria.
>> Help provide tools to fight malaria. Your gift will multiply 3 times in impact to provide insecticide-treated bed nets, medical supplies, and more to children and families at risk from malaria.
>> Send a message to Congress. Ask lawmakers to swiftly reauthorize the Global AIDS, TB and Malaria Bill to ensure that children are not left behind in the fight against malaria and global AIDS.

Forward to a friend

Learn more

Read more about malaria and how it is spread.
- -
Read "AIDS and malaria: A deadly duo."
- -
Learn more about why Africa carries an "overwhelming proportion of the malaria burden."

Three ways you can help

Pray for Lemashol and millions of other African children who don't deserve to suffer malaria's painful symptoms or stand a high risk of death from contracting the disease. Pray also for the continued ability of organizations like World Vision to provide effective prevention measures to help stop malaria.
- -

Help provide tools to fight malaria. Your gift will multiply 3 times in impact to provide insecticide-treated bed nets, medical supplies, and more to children and families at risk from malaria.
- -
Send a message to Congress. Ask lawmakers to swiftly reauthorize the Global AIDS, TB and Malaria Bill to ensure that children are not left behind in the fight against malaria and global AIDS.

 





World Vision
Phone: 1-888-511-6548
P.O. Box 9716
Federal Way,WA 98063-9716
© 2014 World Vision Inc.
World Vision, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible in full or in part.