November 2008

Reducing Deaths from Malaria; Humanitarian Mission to Tanzania


A 16-member humanitarian team organized by St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, MD, traveled to Tanzania to distribute 62,000 insecticide-treated bed nets. The net distribution is an effort to reduce deaths from malaria. The team included representatives of St. Joseph, Mercy Regional Medical Center, Durango, CO, and CHI. The nets were distributed in 21 villages in the Karatu District of the impoverished East African nation. The villages have a combined population of 70,000 people. The project is the single largest distribution of insecticide-treated nets ever in Tanzania. It is part of the Village Wellness Project established by St. Joseph in 2002. The program has provided more than $1 million in aid to the Karatu District. The Village Wellness Project’s partners also include Karatu Lutheran Hospital and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. The nets were financed through a $300,000 special gift from CHI’s Mission and Ministry Fund and donations to “Cast a Net” fundraisers held in Towson and Durango. The nets were produced in Arusha, Tanzania. They provide protection at night, when most transmissions of the mosquito-borne illness occur. St. Joseph has posted a blog with more information about the Village Wellness Project and the team’s experiences in Tanzania. For more information about international missions, contact Diane Jones, vice president, healthy communities, at dianejones@catholichealth.net. Back