Habyarimana Deus is waiting to find out if he has malaria.
“Malaria is the worst thing for me,” he says. “You suddenly feel sick and you are always afraid you got it.”
We met Habyarimana while visiting one of Nakivale Refugee Settlement’s largest health clinics. Families have traveled many miles to the clinic to be tested for malaria.
Last year at Nakivale, there were more than 63,000 cases of malaria – that’s an astounding number for a population of 74,000. Here, malaria is the number one cause of illness and death among children under five. And it is estimated that approximately 45% of households do not yet have access to a bednet. After all these families have been through, the last thing they should have to worry about is their child dying from a mosquito bite.
Habyarimana is 22 years old, with a wife and six-month-old child. He is a farmer and his family depends on him to provide. There are 10 people in his household including his immediate family and they all sleep under nets. His father works at the health center and taught them how to hang and use their nets.
“My wife got malaria while she was pregnant, but luckily she was treated and the child was good,” he says.
Shifting in his brilliant blue shirt, Habyarimana tells us about coming to Nakivale from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was just twelve years old when he fled with his parents and six brothers. They reached Uganda in 2006 and he still remembers his arrival to the reception center after their dramatic trek to escape the violence there.
Nakivale Refugee Settlement is a peaceful place made up of 36 villages across 76 square miles. It is home to more than 74,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, representing eleven nationalities. Close to half are Congolese.
Now that Habyarimana and his family are safe, they shouldn’t have to face the threat of malaria. Nothing But Nets has pledged to protect millions of refugee families like those at Nakivale Refugee Settlement by raising funds for one million bednets by the end of 2016. You can help us save lives. Learn more and take the pledge.