Today was a proud day for Nothing But Nets. A little more than 48 hours ago First Lady of the United States Laura Bush asked us to join her on the Thai-Burma border for a bed net distribution. A few long plane flights later, I joined Mrs. Bush in Mae Sot on behalf of the UN Foundation and Nothing But Nets on a great mission – we stretched our giving to include the most vulnerable people in the world; refugees and internally displaced peoples. (View map)
Mrs. Bush came to Thailand to bring attention to the rising malaria rates in this region. “There is a 40 percent infection rate of the crossovers between the borders,” said Dr. Cynthia Maung, Head of the Mae Tao Clinic.
The UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets contributed 10,000 LLINs for the Mae La camp for refugees living in extreme poverty. Mrs. Bush thanked Nothing But Nets for the commitment to preventing malaria. She was moved by a young baby dying of malaria in the clinic and noted that these nets will prevent child deaths in the future.
Upon leaving the Mao Tao clinic, I visited with UNHCR about the continued struggle of resettlement versus the rising number of refugees.
Our last stop today was at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine associated with Mahidol University. The medical team here were some of the early pioneers of malaria prevention and treatment. Their greatest concern is for the stateless people in the Mountains in Burma who see the highest malaria rates in the region.
Tomorrow, we will travel with UNHCR to visit the Mae La refugee camp.
Thanks to First Lady Laura Bush and you, our Nothing But Nets supporters, for saving lives.