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Story by Nothing But Nets April 1st, 2015

In the dark of night, Shimirimana Yamutra fled the tribal war raging in Burundi with her husband, five children, and few possessions.

They arrived at Nakivale Refugee Settlement in 2012 with the promise of a new life. But there is an even greater threat to the well-being of Shimirimana’s family – malaria. She is currently battling malaria. And despite treatment and continued care for her family, her worst fears were realized this morning when she brought her 8-month-old baby, Salome, to the clinic due to a fever - she has malaria too. Thankfully, two of her other children were tested and do not have malaria. Now, they wait for Salome to be treated.

Refugees at Nakivale Health Clinic wait to be tested for malaria.

Last year, there were more than 63,000 cases of malaria at Nakivale – 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.

Shimirimana’s family continues to grow. She has 7 beautiful children. But they do not have a bednet, nor does her entire village. Nakivale needs more nets to protect the entire settlement from this deadly disease. Shimirimana and her family get sick often – it’s becoming all too familiar. The rainy season is about to begin – the health clinics brace for what they expect to be a surge in malaria cases. They only wish they could do more.

There were more than 63,000 cases of malaria at Nakivale Refugee Settlement last year.

Shirimana dreams of having a plot of land to cultivate for her family. She wants her family to stay healthy.

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.

Inspired by Shimirimana and Salome’s story? Share it here.

Health workers at this Nakivale health clinic prepare treatments for malaria and other illnesses.
Footnote: Photo credits: Corentin Fohlen/Nothing But Nets
Nakivale, Katete Road, Mbarara, Western Region, Uganda
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