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RAPD BBQ fundraiser

posted 14 Mar 2013, 04:33 by Darren Creek

The postdoctoral researchers at Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute recently held a social BBQ and raised much-needed funds for Let the Needy Smile orphan programs in Uganda. In addition to enjoying a tasty BBQ lunch in beautiful summer weather, the ‘gold-coin’ donations made by each post-doc totalled $75, which will allow the purchase of 10 mosquito nets for malaria prevention for orphans in Tororo, Eastern Uganda.

“Most of the post-docs are conducting biomedical research, which we hope will lead to better prevention and treatment of diseases in the future, so most of us are keen to support improved healthcare for those less fortunate” said RAPD president Eleanor Saunders. “It’s refreshing to see that these small donations can have such an immediate impact in the prevention of such a devastating disease. Mosquito nets are such a simple, practical way to help individuals and communities minimise the burden of malaria.”

Malaria is a potentially fatal illness that causes extensive disease in Tororo district. The causative parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes, and the incidence is particularly high during the major wet season from March to May.  Many of the sponsored orphans, and the carers, are afflicted by malaria every year, causing severe sickness, absenteeism from school, and significant costs for treatment that could otherwise be spent on food or education. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets are one of the most effective ways to reduce transmission of malaria. Let the Needy Smile aims to provide nets for each of the 300 children that we support. At approximately $8 per net this is a somewhat ambitious goal, but thanks to donations like this, we will continue to make a better life of orphans and vulnerable children in Eastern Uganda.