Monday, May 23, 2011

Malaria Nets Distribution Launch Event

During mosquito nets distribution launch celebration in Golo, the gathered crowd had an opportunity to learn, in a skit, about the proper use of the nets.
Ted Warnock

By Nyamah Dunbar*

With roughly two months of planning and nearly four weeks before the kickoff of a massive mosquito nets distribution in Mozambique, the United Methodist Mozambique Annual Conference hosted nearly 1,500 inhabitants of the rural village of Golo in a launch celebration of the effort to eradicate malaria.

The national nets distribution is part of a local government effort. It is supported by Imagine No Malaria, an initiative which, through UMCOR, is partnering with the United Methodist Church of Mozambique, the Missouri Annual Conference, United Methodist Communications (UMCOM), and the Government of Mozambique to finance the net distribution. An estimated 100,000 nets will be distributed to inhabitants of two districts in southern Mozambique, benefiting a total of about 165,000 individuals.

Bishop Joaquina Nhanala reminded the gathered crowd of The United Methodist Church’s mission, in adhering to the mandate of Jesus Christ, to teach, to heal, and to preach to the flock. She reiterated that whether through local or universal means, The United Methodist Church’s aim is to extend beyond the pulpit and serve the general population.

Bishop Sengulane of the Episcopal Church, former UMC Bishop of Mozambique João Somane Machado, a representative from the provincial governor’s office, and Ministry of Health leaders reinforced the importance of the UMC-led partnership with the government, the first of its kind for the region.

The significance of partnership and the importance of proper and consistent use of mosquito nets were key components of the messages by attending dignitaries to the launch celebration participants.

After the speeches and prayers, came the music, inevitably followed by joyful African dancing. The young and old, traditional chiefs and school-age children all joined each other under the sweltering sun and swaying palm trees, as local musicians provided music, skits, and choreographed dances in celebration of this great effort to eradicate malaria.

The launch celebration was made possible through support from UMCOM, under the leadership of Rev. Larry Holland and Rev. Gary Henderson, who also heads the Global Health Initiative, of which Imagine No Malaria is its first campaign initiative.

*Nyamah Dunbar is UMCOR Grants Officer for Imagine No Malaria.

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