Blankets & Mosquito Nets
In Northern Thailand between December and February, the temperature drops below freezing at night. The old and very young are at risk from the freezing temperatures. Without protection from the climate, they are susceptible to illness and even death. The provision of blankets will provide an immediate, direct benefit to these communities, reducing mortality rates and improving health.
It is estimated there are 100,000 Karen at risk from the cold nights of winter.
In the remote mountains families are too poor to buy blankets to keep them warm when the temperature drops below freezing. KHT tries to send 5,000 blankets to the region each year but many more are needed every winter. Just £35 buys 10 blankets.
Mosquito nets are essential in the prevention of malaria. Malaria is a parasite spread by the mosquito fly and is one of the most severe public health problems worldwide, killing over 1 million people annually. People in developing countries are most at risk, particularly young children and pregnant women. Cases of malaria are at their highest during the rainy season between May and October. This is because the mosquito fly breeds on stagnant water which is more prevalent at this time of year.
With no vaccine available, preventing the spread of malaria is vital and the best way to do this is through the use of ‘impregnated’ mosquito nets. However, poverty is widespread among the Karen people and families cannot afford to buy the mosquito nets.
The nets are soaked with an insecticide which remains effective when the net dries – this process is called 'impregnation'. The insecticides are safe for close contact with humans but quickly kill mosquito flies. The mosquito nets remain effective for up to a year but can be re-impregnated with insecticide prolonging their life. While the Thai government does not provide mosquito nets, they do have a facility for re-impregnating nets free of charge and this is available in most small towns.
KHT would like to send over 3,000 mosquito nets to the Karen each winter. It costs just £60 to buy 10 mosquito nets.