Picture of a Mosquito Net Tent, public domain byWikimedia user Malte
With all the attention on Haiti, there has been a tendency to forget other human tragedies, including one that takes more lives every year then the Port-Au-Prince earthquake took once.
According to Amazon.com, a Mosquito net manufactured by Coleman can be purchased retail for 15 dollars over the internet, and no doubt even cheaper in bulk, but millions in Africa die ever year, including a child every 30 seconds according to Nothing But Nets, for want of a Mosquito net. Stretched over a year (2*60*24*365) that equals an absurd death toll of 1 million children, just that age group.
If any country should have Malaria, the Southeastern United States would be an ideal infection site. Hot, muggy swamps, massive populations of mosquitos, and vast stretches of underused lands, but somehow with our many resources, industries, cities, railways and factories, we have paved a path away from such ordeals from the sweat of our brow, the nerve of our spirit, and the cleverness of our mind. But in Africa, something that you or I could buy for not more then a meal at a restaurant is unavailable... to save children.
In this perverse world, a man is valued below a meal at a diner. But here's the other thing, can people from all over the world worry every second of every day about stuff happening on the other side of the earth? And just, exactly, how did Africa become so perverse and cruel to its inhabitants? Wasn't it where humanity originated? How did the Southeastern US, of all places, with its little more then 400 years of history under its current inhabitants, outpace a land with a several thousand year headstart?
Those are very complicated questions, and I am not asking them to discourage you from giving or caring. And, by the way, some (though not all) of the answer can, possibly, be traced to your own ancestors, if you are of White, Hispanic or Arab descent, your ancestors may have been the slave traders who ruined Africas economy by draining it of people at a ridiculous rate and destroying productive industry to instead fund and establish as business one of the most bizarre and horrifying of human cruelties, and even if they weren't, they have aided and abetted the society that did. Instead, I am asking these questions to make a point.
They need nets, but even more then this they need the industry to make their own nets. If you wish to support charity, also support free trade and getting the word out there on a need for an African renaissance, so that someday, just maybe, when all their troubles are through and our African friends hold good steady jobs at the mosquito net factory or the steel mill, Africa can help somebody else.