Refugees in Africa have fled their native countries because of political and economic strife, ethnic tensions, and natural disasters. They traveled into the unknown with little more than the clothes on their backs in hopes of a better, safer life. Some refugees settle in camps for months, some for years. But their stay can be cut short with just one deadly mosquito bite. Refugees are particularly vulnerable to malaria – in fact, malaria is the number one cause of death and illness among refugees in Africa.
Women and children are especially at risk of infection – and they make up three quarters of the populations in these camps– largely because of the living conditions in the camps. Small, close quarters and limited resources are just a few of the factors in the spread of this disease. Pools of water from heavy downpours in the approaching rainy seasons become ideal breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.