Mozambique: Christian Charity Promises Support Against Malaria

16 Oct 2008
The president and chief executive officer of the US-based Christian charity, World Vision International, Dean Hirsch, has promised that his organisation will step up its support for the fight against malaria in Mozambique, to reduce the high mortality from the disease.  

Hirsch was speaking to reporters on Thursday, after an audience granted by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.  

"In World Vision, we are not only concerned with children and their education and health", he said, "but we are also concerned with the question of malaria".  

He stressed that efforts are under way to ensure that every Mozambican child sleeps under a bed net, to prevent them from being bitten by the anopheles mosquito, which carries the malaria parasite.  

Malaria remains the single most important cause of death in Mozambique. 30 per cent of all deaths in Mozambican hospitals are caused by malaria. The disease is also responsible for 35 per cent of deaths among children under the age of five, and 60 per cent of children in Mozambique's paediatric wards are suffering from malaria.  

World Vision says it has so far distributed 100,000 mosquito nets in Mozambique, and it plans to distribute many more in Mozambique and in other southern African countries. It also intends to support home spraying programmes against mosquitos.  

Hirsch said that during the audience he congratulated Guebuza for his concern with children, and for the good governance of Mozambique.  

Hirsch is in Mozambique for celebrations marking the silver jubilee (25th anniversary) of World Vision.