Our Reality: Malaria Prevention in Kenya

For many, a mosquito bite can just be a pesky annoyance and a side effect of a summer BBQ. But in many places, mosquito bites can be deadly--carrying mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria. This #WorldMalariaDay, we want to talk not only about the issue of this disease, but what can be done to stop it.

Malaria is a parasitic disease that can corrupt the human blood cell cycle, leading to respiratory distress, kidney and liver issues, and compromised immune response. Malaria can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, whose babies can be born with birth defects and health complications.

Mosquitos that carry the disease are especially prevalent in tropical climates. Anti-malarial medications and vaccines are available, but the easiest way to prevent the spread of malaria is to control the mosquito population and keep mosquitos away from homes and other buildings.

One of the most affected countries is Kenya, where an estimated 3.5 million cases of malaria are seen every year and over 10,000 people die annually from malaria complications. Rural and impoverished area have less reliable access to preventative measures such as nets, pesticides, and antimalarial medications. Climate change is moving mosquito populations into larger areas, creating an urgent need to combat this problem.

The new Habitat for Humanity Malaria Prevention Challenge seeks to remedy the issue of malaria in Kenya in new and innovative ways: through changing home design. By creating new housing innovations to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes, we can prevent the devastation of malaria.

This challenge has a prize of $20,000, but far more important than the prize money is the feeling of helping to fight this devastating disease in the areas that need it most--the successful solutions can be implemented across malaria-prone areas around the world, not just in Kenya!

Do you have what it takes? Enter the challenge today and be a part of #OurReality and the solutions of the future.