How does DEET work?

How does DEET work?

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How does DEET work?

DEET is the strongest insect repellent for application on the skin and has been commercially available since 1957. Compared to other insect repellents DEET has been the most researched in scientific (field) studies and has been proven to work effectively. It is worldwide the most used agent to keep away insects like mosquitoes and ticks.

What is DEET and how does it work?

DEET was developed in 1944 by Samuel Gertler of the US Department of Agriculture. He developed the ingredient for use by the US Army. DEET is an abbreviation for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, or slightly shorter: diethyltoluamide. It masks volatile odourants on the skin. These odorous substances, for example from lactic acid bacteria, cannot be converted into olfactory neurons that can attract mosquitoes. The mosquito will therefore continue its search elsewhere and you will not be bitten.

tijgermug Aedes albopictus

DEET-based products are recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States (CDC) and almost all national advisory bodies for Travel & Health.

What does the percentage of DEET mean?

There are different percentages available of DEET-containing insect repellent products. The percentage does not say anything about how well the product works, but it does say something about the product’s duration of action. A higher percentage offers a longer duration of action. In the table below you can find a handy overview of the protection duration against mosquitoes and ticks per percentage.

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Between 50 and 100% DEET there is almost no difference in the duration of action, but the safety is negatively affected. Such a high percentage of DEET can cause skin irritation. In malaria areas a percentage of 30-50% DEET is advised. If you apply the product before sunset, it will provide sufficient protection until you sleep under the impregnated mosquito net.

Points of attention with the use of DEET

When you use products containing DEET you have to take into account a number of things. The agent can dissolve some synthetic materials such as rayon, spandex, synthetic fabrics, painted or varnished surfaces and nail polish. In addition, the agent can soak into hard plastics, making them softer and more flexible. Therefore, be careful when it comes to your clothes and other items when using DEET.

Alternatives to DEET

Besides DEET there are 3 other active insect-repellent substances. Since 1994, Care Plus® has an insect repellent based on natural lemon eucalyptus extracts (Citriodiol®). In a number of European countries, Care Plus® also has Saltidin (Icaridin™) and IR3535™ in its range. The availability of these products depends on local regulations.

3 facts about DEET

  1. More than 200,000,000 Americans use DEET products against mosquito and tick bites every year.
  2. Care Plus® has conducted its own efficacy studies with 3 mosquito species including the house mosquito (Culex), the malaria mosquito (Anopheles) and the tiger mosquito (Aedes).
  3. DEET is not toxic for humans, although every now and then stories pop up in the media.

3 frequently asked questions about DEET

1. Is DEET safe for children??
There are age recommendations for the use of DEET. The age depends on the percentage of DEET. For example, DEET 30% is suitable for children above 13 years and DEET 50% for children above 18 years.

2. What if I travel to a malaria area with children under the age of 13?
Government advice for the use of higher percentages of DEET in the (sub)tropics may differ. For example, they look at whether the risk of infection with a disease is higher than the risk that the child will suffer from skin irritation through the use of DEET. Besides that, younger children are more prone to getting body parts in contact with their mouth or eyes. Something that has to be avoided with DEET.

3. Why is there no DEET with sunscreen?
In areas where the tiger mosquito is active it would be useful if DEET and sun cream were combined. Tiger mosquitoes prefer to bite during the day. However, both products affect each other negatively. As soon as you use the products combined, both the SPF of the sunscreen and the DEET protection are reduced. Tip: apply the sunscreen half an hour before you go out into the sun. Then, 10 minutes before you go outside, apply the DEET-product in a thin layer on uncovered skin.

How do I choose the best mosquito net?

How do I choose the best mosquito net?

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How do I choose the best mosquito net?

More and more people travel for work or for holidays to a distant tropical destination and take a mosquito net with them in their luggage. Tropical destinations are known for their mosquitoes and other insects and the diseases they can transmit. With a mosquito net, you can protect yourself against these critters. A mosquito net is also ideal for use at home or during holidays in your own country, such as at the campsite. Because wherever you are, mosquitoes are everywhere.

Choose a mosquito net that suits your situation

The importance of a mosquito net close to home

You may be familiar with the buzzing of mosquitoes in your ear when you are trying to sleep. But a mosquito can be more of a nuisance than just an itchy bump. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and the West Nile virus. These diseases are particularly prevalent in tropical regions, but there are increasing reports about infections in Europe. Although the risk of illness after a bite from an infected mosquito in Europe is limited, it is not entirely without risk. The number of tiger mosquitoes (transmitters of several infectious diseases) and the number of infected and deadly victims due to the West Nile virus have increased significantly in Europe in recent years.

That is why the use of a mosquito net is increasingly recommended during holidays in Europe, at home or in the bedroom. There are a number of advantages to sleeping under a mosquito net:

  • Your sleep will not be disturbed by mosquitoes and other insects.
  • A mosquito net is easy to hang up and put away. You only have to hang up a mosquito net once to enjoy it for years.
  • A mosquito net also creates a nice atmosphere in your bedroom.

Which mosquito net should you choose?

Mosquito nets are available in many types, sizes and colours. It’s important to choose a mosquito net that suits your situation best. Will you only use the mosquito net at home or will you take it with you when you travel? Will you sleep alone or together under the mosquito net? Does it have to be lightweight for your luggage or is that not important? These are all factors you need to take into account. You should also consider the impregnation, the shape and the quality of the net.

Impregnated or not?

This choice depends on where you are going. For use at home, in Europe or in areas where there is no risk of malaria, a non-impregnated mosquito net is sufficient. For areas at risk of malaria, Care Plus® recommends using an impregnated mosquito net. The impregnated nets by Care Plus® are treated with a sustainable Durallin® impregnation technology. This impregnation technology prevents mosquitoes from landing on the net and biting through it. With daily use, the impregnation lasts up to 3 years.

The shape of the mosquito net

When buying a mosquito net, it is wise to take the shape of the net into account. Care Plus® has 3 basic shapes, so there is a suitable mosquito net for every situation.

  1. Bell Mosquito Net. This shape has 1 suspension point and thanks to the flexible built-in ring in the ridge, the net has a stable shape. This form is available impregnated or non-impregnated and is suitable for a maximum of 2 people.
  2. Wedge Mosquito Net . This shape also has 1 suspension point, but the attachment is not in the middle of the mosquito net. The attachment is at the head-end, which gives it the shape of an elongated triangle. It is an impregnated single mosquito net with an extra tuck-in strip at the bottom to fix the net under the mattress.
  3. Box Mosquito Net. This form has a rectangular box model. It may take a little more effort to hang up the mosquito net because it has 4 suspension points. The advantage of this shape is that it has straight sides, so you have more room to move and are less likely to lie up against the net while asleep. Moreover, this mosquito net can also be hung like the Wedge net or as a tent shape. The Box mosquito net is available for both 1 and 2 persons.

Hanging the nets is easy. Each net comes with a description and a suspension kit (including cord, safety pins and screw hooks). In addition to these 3 different shapes of mosquito nets, Care Plus® also has an impregnated pop-up dome without attachment. This mosquito net is perfect for spending the night outdoors or in a tent. There are also 2 head nets available that you can use during outdoor activities like hiking or fishing.

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The quality of the net

The quality of the net is also important. There is a wide range of mosquito nets, but not every mosquito net lasts as long as others. A mosquito net has to meet a number of requirements in order to provide effective protection against (malaria) mosquitoes. It is important that the net is made of durable polyester and that the mesh size is not larger than 1,75 mm. The size of the holes can also be indicated by the number of holes per square inch. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a mesh size of at least 165. This ensures that you get enough air under the mosquito net, but the holes are small enough to keep out insects.

Furthermore, the net must be closed on all sides and long enough so that no insects can crawl in through the opening or from the ground. You can also choose a net that you tuck under the mattress so that it is properly sealed. Also make sure that the net is not too small, because if you lie up against it you can still be bitten or stung.

All Care Plus® nets are manufactured under the strictest quality standards and comply with the minimum mesh size set by the WHO. The high-quality and lightweight multi-fibre is uniquely suited for durable impregnation and guarantees a long lifespan of the mosquito net. Do you use the net occasionally, for example only during holidays? Keep it in the supplied storage bag to extend the life of the mosquito net. The active impregnation agent is broken down by sunlight (UV radiation).

Choose the right mosquito net and protect yourself from mosquitoes

Tips for preventing and treating insect bites

Tips for preventing and treating insect bites

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Tips for preventing and treating insect bites

As soon as the temperature rises, more insects appear. Insects can cause itchy and irritating bumps, but an insect bite can also be dangerous. Ticks can transmit tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease among other things, and mosquitoes are responsible for spreading several diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever.

Tips to prevent mosquito bites

Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the chance of a mosquito bite. It is wise to check your sleeping quarters for mosquitoes before you go to sleep. This will prevent buzzing in your ear and itchy red bumps in the morning. Place mosquito nets in front of windows and doors to keep insects out. Despite these measures, a mosquito or other insect may still invade your bedroom, or it may only show itself once you are in bed. A mosquito net will keep insects away while you are sleeping.

Relieve itching after an insect bite

Mosquitoes favour stagnant water. These are breeding grounds where the females lay their eggs. Remove stagnant water in and around your home (e.g., watering cans, rain barrels or bird baths) to prevent mosquito breeding sites. Wear covering, light-coloured and finely woven clothes and apply insect repellent based on DEET, Icaridin or natural lemon-eucalyptus extracts to uncovered skin.

Tips to prevent tick bites

There are also measures you can take to reduce the risk of a tick bite. As with mosquitoes, you can opt for covering, light-coloured and finely woven clothes. When walking, stay on paths and tuck your trouser legs into your (tick-resistant) socks. Apply insect repellent such as Care Plus ® Anti-Tick to uncovered skin.

Did you get bitten or stung after all?

Despite preventive measures, you may still be bitten or stung. Sometimes you do not even notice an insect bite, but there are also insects whose bites can cause pain, redness, irritation, swelling or itching. In the worst case, an insect bite can transmit a disease. It is therefore important to treat the bite or sting in the right way to prevent worse. Care Plus® has effective products that help you do this.

  • Care Plus® Insect SOS gel softens, cools and soothes irritated skin after, for example, a bite or sting from a mosquito, wasp or horse fly. The gel also relieves after a jellyfish bite, skin irritation caused by the stinging hairs of the oak processionary caterpillar and the Brown-tail moth caterpillar or after skin contact with nettles.
  • With the Venimex venom extractor you can quickly extract the venom of an insect or arachnid to prevent it from spreading. Make sure you do this as soon as possible after the bite or sting. This automatic vacuum pump reduces the chance of swelling and pain.
  • The Care Plus® Click-Away gives a small shock that prevents the body from producing histamine (the substance that causes itching, among other things). The itching and swelling reduce after just a few minutes. You can use Click-Away after an insect or jellyfish bite.

If you experience acute tightness of the chest after an insect bite or a rash in a place where you were not bitten or stung, you may be suffering from an allergic reaction. In such a case, always contact a doctor.

Treatment after a tick bite

Even with a tick bite it is essential to be alert and to provide the right treatment. Always check yourself and each other thoroughly after spending time outdoors, in order to discover a tick in time. It is important to remove the tick as soon as possible to reduce the risk of transmitting any diseases. Remove the tick within 8 hours with a special tick remover such as tick tweezers or tick removal tool.

Caution! Always use a tool that has been specially developed to remove ticks. Do not use alcohol, oil, fire or soap. The tick may be frightened and spit out its (infected) stomach contents, which increases the risk of infection with TBE or Lyme disease. Don’t remove a tick with your fingernails or regular tweezers either, because there is a good chance that you won’t remove the tick completely. Again, there is a risk that the tick will be startled and empty its stomach contents.

After removing the tick, note the date and place of the bite and keep an eye on it for 3 months. Discolouration of the skin, for example a red circle around the place of the bite, or other complaints related to Lyme disease can occur after a few weeks or months. There may also be symptoms without a red spot or ring, as this occurs in only 50% of infections. Also look out for symptoms such as flu-like symptoms, muscle aches and/or fever. In this case, get yourself checked out by a doctor because when you get an insect bite, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

3 types of mosquitoes you’ll want to recognise

3 types of mosquitoes you’ll want to recognise

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3 types of mosquitoes you’ll want to recognise

As many as 3,000 different species of mosquitoes live on our globe. Mosquitoes are annoying and can keep you awake at night while you try to sleep. Apart from their annoying buzzing, mosquitoes can also transmit infectious diseases to humans and animals. Unfortunately, the female mosquitoes see us as a tasty meal of blood. They need this blood to lay eggs. In this article, we will tell you which 3 mosquito species you would like to recognise and what their characteristics are.

The common mosquito (Culex pipiens)

This mosquito is one of the most common mosquitoes in Europe, but also in countries like North America. This mosquito species usually bites at night and can be found both indoors and outdoors. They prefer the blood of birds but will also settle for humans once they are nearby. Culex mosquitoes are primarily annoying, but they can also transmit dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus and Western/Eastern equine encephalitis. Common mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in freshwater surfaces, such as puddles and flowerpots around your house. They are moderate fliers and can travel up to 3 km from their breeding site.

You can recognise the common mosquito by the following characteristics:

  • A mosquito has a sucking snout that points forward. This snout is about half as long as the body of the mosquito. These are the jaws and lips of the mosquito, which have evolved into a stinging and sucking organ.
  • The wings of a common mosquito are longer than the abdomen.
  • The thorax of the mosquito stands slightly upright when the mosquito is at rest.
  • The wings of a common mosquito are longer than the abdomen.
  • The head and abdomen are parallel to the ground.
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The common mosquito (Culex pipiens)

The malaria mosquito (Anopheles)

Anopheles is the best-known malaria mosquito and bites both indoors and outdoors between sunset and sunrise. They prefer humans and mammals. These mosquitoes can also transmit dangerous and sometimes even deadly infectious diseases, such as malaria. The malaria mosquito lays its eggs with floats on the surface of natural, overgrown water surfaces such as ponds and swamps. But it also likes to lay its eggs around the house in stagnant water such as flowerpots or watering cans. The malaria mosquito is found in the subtropics. They are strong fliers and can travel up to 14 km on a sugary meal and up to 4.5 km on a meal of blood.

You can recognise the malaria mosquito by the following characteristics:

  • The malaria mosquito is small compared to other mosquito species.
  • The head of the malaria mosquito points downwards and the abdomen stands upright (like the spoiler of a car).
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The malaria mosquito (Anopheles)

The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)

This mosquito is found in the (sub)tropics but has now also entered Europe and North America. This species can survive well in colder climates. Unlike the common mosquito and the malaria mosquito, the tiger mosquito likes to bite during the day. Humans are their favourite hosts. These mosquitoes can also transmit a range of infectious diseases (viruses) such as zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, dengue and West Nile virus.
Tiger mosquitoes like to lay their eggs individually or near the surfaces of temporary water sources such as used car tyres, flowerpots, and swimming pools. They are weak fliers and often travel no more than 800 metres from their original breeding sites.

You can recognise the tiger mosquito by the following characteristics::

  • The tiger mosquito is small and its body is black and white.
  • The extreme ends of the hind legs are white.
  • The tips of the palps (mouthparts at the snout) are white.
  • A white stripe runs from the head down the back.
  • Both the head and the abdomen point downwards.
Tiger mosquito

The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)

3 facts about mosquitoes

  1. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant sap, but only the female mosquitoes bite because they need blood to feed their eggs.
  2. During one meal, a female mosquito can drink her entire body weight in blood.
  3. A female mosquito lays on average more than 100 eggs at a time and can do this up to 10 times after being fertilised by a male mosquito.

3 frequently asked questions about mosquitoes

1. How often can a mosquito bite me?
A female mosquito bites until she is 'full’. A few days later she will lay her eggs.

2. Why does one person get bitten more often than another?
This has to do with a combination of factors. Your body temperature, body odour and the (lactic acid) bacteria on your body, among other things, are all factors.

3. Why do mosquito bites itch?
This is a natural reaction of the human body to mosquito saliva. This causes the immune system to produce histamine, which causes the nerves to become itchy as a result of increased blood flow. If too much histamine is released, the area around the bite may swell, become red and itchy.

Enjoy walking with these 5 useful tips

Enjoy walking with these 5 useful tips

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Enjoy walking with these 5 useful tips

Walking or hiking seems very simple. You learn it at a young age, so what can go wrong? Unfortunately, without proper preparation you can get into unpleasant situations. Therefore, make sure you are well prepared before you start your hike or walk, whether it is a city walk or a walk in the countryside, a short intensive hike or a multi-day hike. We have put together 6 tips for you, so that you can enjoy your surroundings to the fullest.

1. Wear good shoes

This tip may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked. Wearing good shoes while walking is very important. Therefore, get good advice in a specialized shop, considering, among other things, the type of terrain you will be walking on. Also, remember to walk in your shoes before going on a longer hike.

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2. Make conscious clothing choices

It is sometimes said that “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”. It is a good idea to wear layers so that you can always take something off or put it on. Keep in mind that cotton clothing absorbs a lot of water and does not dry quickly. This can make you feel cold very quickly. Jeans may rub and be stiff. If you are walking through nature, remember to wear close-fitting, covering and preferably light-coloured clothing and to tuck your trousers into your (impregnated) socks to reduce the risk of a tick bite. Use Anti-Tick on uncovered skin. Always check for tick bites afterwards.

3. Make sure you can make contact with the outside world

Being able to walk undisturbed is wonderful; being unreachable for the outside world allows you to enjoy the surroundings undisturbed. But when you need outside help, it can be dangerous to be on the road without having something to hand with which you can reach the outside world. Always make sure your phone is charged or that you have a power bank with you.

4. Make sure you have the right equipment

What you take with you on your hike depends on where you are going to hike and how long you are going to be there. It is a difficult decision, because you want to be prepared for everything, but you also don’t want to carry unnecessary weight. One thing that should definitely not be missing from your luggage is a first aid kit. Care Plus® has handy, lightweight first aid sets that are easy to take with you and with which you can carry the most necessary products in case of emergency, such as Care Plus® First Aid Kit Roll Out Small and Care Plus® First Aid Kit Basic. Furthermore, make sure you have enough clothing, (energy-rich) food and drinks and plan breaks at regular intervals so that you can spread your energy over the entire hike.

5. Do not overestimate your own abilities

If you are not passing through, your starting point is also your finishing point. In general, this is where your transport is or this is where you will spend the night, so you will have to return to this point. In any case, the distance covered on the way out to the farthest point must be covered again to get back to the starting point. However, people tend to overestimate their own abilities, which can make the journey back quite challenging. It is therefore important to understand your abilities and plan the route beforehand, taking into account the abilities of yourself and any fellow hikers. Especially for remote (natural) areas without public transport possibilities, walking is often the only option back.

Sleep under a mosquito net at home too

Sleep under a mosquito net at home too

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Sleep under a mosquito net at home too for an undisturbed night’s sleep

You probably recognize it, that irritating buzzing around your head as soon as you try to sleep. The next morning you wake up with itchy red bumps on your body. Many people sleep under a mosquito net to keep insects at a distance when travelling far away, but a mosquito net is also ideal for use at home or during a holiday in your own country. A mosquito net keeps mosquitoes and other insects at bay so you can enjoy an undisturbed night’s sleep.

Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus

When it comes to the health of yourself and your family, you don’t take half measures. Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, like the buzzing around your head when you’re trying to sleep. A mosquito bite can also have bigger consequences, as mosquitoes are the transmitters of various diseases. In Europe, the risk of contracting a disease after being bitten by an infected mosquito is limited, but not entirely without risk. For example, the number of infections and (fatal) casualties because of the West Nile virus has increased sharply in the past year. It is expected that the real number of infections is higher, because about 80% of the infected people do not get any complaints. Not everyone is lucky. Some cases are so severe that these people must be admitted to the intensive care unit or, in extreme cases, die.

Hanging a mosquito net

A non-impregnated mosquito net for use close to home

The house mosquito is responsible for transmitting the West Nile virus, among other things. This mosquito bites mainly between sunset and sunrise. You can prevent the risk of mosquito nuisance by sleeping under a mosquito net. For use at home or within Europe (e.g., camping) you can use a non-impregnated mosquito net*. Are you travelling to a malaria risk area? Then mosquito bites are much more dangerous. We advise you to take an impregnated mosquito net* in your suitcase or backpack to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Care Plus mosquito nets

How do you use a mosquito net?

A mosquito net doesn’t only protect you against mosquitoes, but also repels other insects while you’re sleeping. Make sure that the mosquito net is not too small, because if you sleep against the net, it doesn’t offer optimal protection. It’s also important that the net is closed on all sides. Only then the mosquito net offers extra protection against stinging and biting insects.

With the right care and mounting, a mosquito net will last for years after purchase. This way you can sleep comfortably and undisturbed for years to come. And you must admit, a mosquito net around the bed is quite romantic, isn’t it?

A malaria-free world in 2030

A malaria-free world in 2030

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Een malariavrije wereld in 2030

In 2020 stond het nieuws grotendeels in het teken van het COVID-19 virus. Voor malaria is echter nog steeds weinig aandacht, terwijl de sterftecijfers flink oplopen. De mug is het dodelijkste dier op aarde en daarmee is preventie tegen de malariamug en tegen malaria van groot belang!

Stijging van het aantal dodelijke malariaslachtoffers

Malaria veroorzaakt jaarlijks meer dan 228 miljoen slachtoffers, waaronder een stijgend aantal dodelijke slachtoffers. Was het sterftecijfer de laatste jaren gezakt tot circa 405.000, door het coronavirus is dit cijfer weer opgelopen tot potentieel een miljoen*. Dit zijn voornamelijk kinderen onder de 5 jaar.

* Bron: World Health Organization

De invloed van COVID-19 op (de bestrijding van) malaria

Het COVID-19 virus heeft ook effect op malaria en de bestrijding ervan. Zo leven mensen meer binnen, ook in gebieden met een hoog malariarisico zoals in Afrika. De malariamug, die actief is tussen zonsondergang en zonsopkomst, heeft een voorkeur voor donkere ruimtes en komt binnenshuis nu meer potentiële slachtoffers tegen.

Furthermore, the fight against malaria is affected by corona. Due to the strict measures, group gatherings are prohibited. This means that outreaches in which mosquito nets are distributed and information about malaria prevention is shared are hardly possible or not possible at all.
At the beginning of December 2020, Chief Mosquito Officer Arnoud Aalbersberg of Care Plus® discussed the effects of corona on malaria in Uganda with Ashaba Faridah of Bambino Life Foundation.

Het Care Plus® Buy One Give One programma

Care Plus® streeft naar een malariavrije wereld. Dit doen we onder andere via ons Buy One, Give One programma, waarbij 1% van de omzet gebruikt wordt om de wereld malariavrij te maken in 2030. Care Plus® is een bedrijf is dat sterk afhankelijk is van reizigers. Wereldwijd gingen grenzen op slot en bleven vliegtuigen aan de grond. Mensen waren genoodzaakt om thuis te blijven en vakantieplannen uit te stellen. Mede daardoor was de omzet afgelopen jaar lager. Hiermee was er dus ook minder te besteden binnen het Buy One, Give One programma.

A malaria-free world in 2030

Ruim 13.000 mensen beschermd tegen malaria

Ondanks de beperkte mogelijkheden voor outreaches is het gelukt om 3300 bedrukte klamboes uit te delen in 2020. Hiermee zijn meer dan 13.000 mensen beschermd tegen malaria.

Samenwerking met partners in de strijd tegen malaria

Dit mooie resultaat heeft Care Plus® samen bereikt met haar partners. Zo werken we samen met Bambino Life Foundation, the Coffee Quest en Twiga Ventures. Aan dit mooie rijtje zijn afgelopen jaar ook samenwerkingen met Rotary Stop Malaria Club Midden Betuwe-Valburg en Drive Against Malaria toe te voegen.

De strijd gaat door

Uiteraard gaan Care Plus® en haar partners ook in 2021 verder met de strijd voor een malariavrije wereld. Dit doen we niet alleen op Wereld Malaria dag op 25 april, maar het hele jaar door! Lees hier meer over onze strijd.

The impact of COVID-19 on the fight against malaria

The impact of COVID-19 on the fight against malaria

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The impact of COVID-19 on the fight against malaria

At the start of December 2020, a digital interview between Arnoud Aalbersberg (Care Plus®) and Ashaba Faridah (Bambino Life Foundation) took place to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on malaria in Uganda.

Bambino Life Foundation

Ashaba Faridah is a Ugandan pilot who wants to make a difference in her community, so she founded Bambino Life Foundation. The Bambino Life Foundation promotes girl child education and empowerment and children welfare. The common goal of both the Bambino Life Foundation and Care Plus® is to protect people from malaria by education on malaria and malaria prevention. Bambino Life Foundation educates children on malaria and reaches out printed mosquito nets in rural areas provided by Care Plus®. COVID-19 has an impact on the goal to eradicate malaria and on the activities that the Bambino Life Foundation does.

strijd tegen malaria met het buy one give one programma van Care Plus

COVID-19 in Uganda

Uganda got ahead of COVID-19 before there were any cases. The president put the country under lockdown and closed the borders which resulted in a number of COVID-19 deaths below 40 in Uganda, but the strict lockdown measures affected the outreaches as well.

Double effect of COVID-19 on malaria; no outreaches and increased risk of malaria

Normally large groups of 500-600 girls gather together for an outreach, but the Ugandan government put a stop on large groups. Bambino Life Foundation was able to do only one small outreach since the start of the pandemic. To make outreaches possible again in the rural areas of Uganda, hand sanitizers and reusable face masks are needed.

Moreover, the risk of malaria increased as people stay inside their houses and mosquitoes prefer dark places like in houses. So, there’s a double negative COVID-19 effect on malaria.

Recent WHO insights on malaria

In the last 15 years malaria infections and deaths decreased by 50% to around 420.000, but the World Health Organization* (WHO) reported that the numbers are increasing again and are close to potentially 1 million malaria deaths again, so we’re basically back at the start.

* Source: World Health Organization

Malaria is deadlier than the COVID-19 pandemic

Malaria is a deathlier pandemic than COVID-19. Every minute, someone dies from malaria. Most people, especially in rural areas, cannot afford proper medical help once they have malaria. Although malaria makes more victims than COVID-19, the latter gets way more attention than malaria. Probably because malaria currently is not a global problem whereas COVID-19 is.

Uganda’s fight against malaria

The Ugandan government is doing its best in the continuous fight against malaria. In the past, they have distributed mosquito nets as well, but those mosquito nets are no longer up in the houses because of the low quality of the nets. Often, they are used as fishing nets. The government can’t do the fight on its own, initiatives like the cooperation between Care Plus® and Bambino Life Foundation help in the fight. Especially since the provided nets are printed which make them super wanted by the local communities for their decoration.

Buy One, Give One program

Every buyer of Care Plus® product helps in the fight against malaria. The Buy One, Give One program makes sure that 1 percent of the turnover is used to make the world malaria free by 2030, for example by sponsoring printed nets to the Bambino Life Foundation in Uganda.