Samuel Oko Chief Security Guard at a net storage facility Nigeria
"Everyone knows why they are here and what they are for. This area is very secure - no problems here. No one's going to tamper with these nets."
Between 2006 - 2008, 140 million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were distributed in Africa. Distribution is an enormous and difficult task that is often undertaken in challenging and remote locations. Net distribution represents the gap between theory and reality, where myriad logistical issues separate those who give and those who need to receive.
Insecticide treated nets can be purchased by a foreign charitable organization, but when the goods hit the ground there needs to be a secure network of people in place who can store and transport millions of nets while ensuring that none are lost, stolen, or selfishly sold for profit. NGOs provide essential services, but they cannot operate the trucks and warehouses or navigate the treacherous roads alone. Coordination with national and local government agencies is essential if resources are to reach those in need.
Thankfully, malaria related funding increased substantially between 2003 and 2009 with over a 5-fold increase to US $1.7 billion. Maximizing the resulting opportunities only highlights the importance of NGO/governmental cooperation.