Two weeks ago, I caught myself daydreaming.
Okay, it happens a lot.
But this particular time, the PowerBall topped $640 million, I had just purchased ten bucks worth of lotto tickets, and I zoned out for 20 minutes in the shower dreaming of what I’d do if I won.
I’ll admit, this did include me jet-setting around the world and a posh British narrator embellishing upon my imaginary decadence and net-worth on VH1’s “Fabulous Life.”
When I woke up, it got me thinking … we are country obsessed with “net-worth.” For many in the U.S., how much you make and how you spend it is a defining factor of our lives.
But let me suggest another “NET-worth”: $10.
That’s how much an insecticide-treated bed net costs to help protect a family from malaria. Not a lot of money when you think about it! In fact, it’s just the amount I spent on lotto tickets a few weeks ago. But this kind of net is worth much more than a winning PowerBall to the 200 million families around the world vulnerable to this preventable disease.
Malaria is particularly devastating in Africa, where it is a leading killer of children. In fact, there are 10 new cases of malaria every second. Every 60 seconds, a child in Africa dies from a malaria infection.
We can change that.
Bed nets are a simple, life-saving solution. According to the 2011 World Malaria Report, 96% of people with access to a bed net, use it. The best part of all, a net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver and educate the recipient on its proper use.
Since last June, more than 130,000 refugees — and counting — have entered South Sudan and surrounding countries to escape fighting along the border of Sudan. As the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) helps provide food, water, and shelter, organizations like the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign are working to send 100,000 life-saving bed nets to protect these families from the threat of malaria, the leading cause of death among children under five in South Sudan. But they need your help.
This Thursday, April 25, we celebrate World Malaria Day. We honor the many champions – from students to world leaders, basketball stars to bishops – who have made an impact to end malaria deaths worldwide.
One thing’s for sure, the size of your net-worth doesn’t matter in the world of malaria. Anyone can send a net and save a life.
For more information on malaria, bed nets, and how to make a difference, please visit www.NothingButNets.net. Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign created by the United Nations Foundation to save lives by preventing malaria.
Photo Credits: United Nations Foundation