Canadians have lots of reasons to enjoy mashing mosquitoes. But now with a new online game called Mosquito Masher, they can bash those bothersome bugs and save lives at the same time.
“Malaria is the number one killer of children under five in Africa, claiming one life every 45 seconds,” says Plan Canada’s Dr. Tanjina Mirza. “It is spread through the bite of a mosquito carrying a parasite. This disease was eradicated in Canada over 50 years ago, but continues to claim the lives of children and families in Africa, where 90% of the world’s malaria cases occur.”
In fact, the disease contributes to the death of 10,000 pregnant women and 20,000 babies in Africa every year. To mark World Malaria Day on April 25, Plan Canada created the fun and interactive Mosquito Masher game as a new way to help combat the disease.
Players get the pleasure of mashing mosquitoes online. For every 10,000 points earned by any player, Plan Canada and its partner, Spread the Net, will donate an insecticide-treated, mosquito-repellent, anti-malaria bed net to an African family. During the game, players will not only earn points and collect power-ups, but will also learn interesting malaria facts and also about malaria prevention. Questions are answered within the game such as: ‘What is malaria?’, ‘How do people get malaria?’ and ‘What are malaria symptoms?’ The ultimate goal of the game is to send 10,000 nets to protect children and their families from malaria.
“Using an insecticide-treated bed net is the best way to prevent the mosquito bites that cause malaria,” adds Mirza. “Players of Mosquito Masher can actually help save lives.”
Plan has been working to combat malaria in 43 countries across Africa and Asia. Plan’s programs strengthen community-based management of malaria and other infectious diseases in these countries. In addition, Plan provides pregnancy care, organizes birth registration campaigns, and immunization programs for pregnant women, children, and their parents who also receive free long-lasting insecticidal nets. Plan also coordinates malaria awareness and prevention programs in communities and works with local governments to integrate malaria programs within local health service delivery.
· Half the world’s population – about 3.3 billion people – are at risk of contracting malaria.
· Globally, there are 250 million malaria cases and nearly one million deaths each year.
· Malaria kills more African children than any other disease, resulting in one death every 45 seconds.
· Malaria contributes to the death of 10,000 pregnant women and 20,000 babies in Africa every year.