SIERRA LEONE, KISSYTOWN, 30 SEPTEMBER 2009
A woman carries on her head the net that she has just received for free at a Red Cross distribution site. Malaria is one of the leading causes of illness and death in Sierra Leone. The disease is responsible for 47% of outpatient morbidity, 37.6% of hospital admissions and 17.6% of in-patient deaths. Children under the age of five and pregnant women are most at risk from malaria. Mortality attributed to malaria is 38.8% among children of 5 years and below and 25.4% for all age groups. The Red CRoss malaria program focuses on prevention: mass distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LINN's), training people in how to use the nets and in further preventive measures, and creating awareness about the disease and its symptoms.