Kulambo Symbolizes The Fight Against Malaria

I remember when we were little, our parents would tell us to set up the kulambo or mosquito net every night. My brother and I would even made a schedule who will fix the kulambo before going to bed. Inside the kulambo, we would play bato-bato pick and talk about how the day went by just before we sleep. Oh, how I miss those days. Did you know why the kulambo or mosquito net was so popular during the 70's and 80's? Because there was a high incident of malaria in several provinces.

Art Installation Using Kulambo
 The Fight Against Malaria
Mosquito have been called one of the most dangerous insects in the world, spreading some of the world’s most prevalent and destructive diseases today. Malaria is one, affecting tens of thousands of Filipinos. Malaria is transmitted through the bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes.

According to World Health Organization, malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. However, it is preventable and curable.

 The Fight Against Malaria

Today, there are several products available in the market that can protect you from the deadly mosquitoes. Many Filipino household loves the traditional kulambo as a protection while asleep, against mosquitoes.

At home, we grow citronella plant in the backyard. Citronella works on mosquitoes, they release a scent that mosquito don't like. During my trip in Mt. Kitanglad Farm, I bought a bottle of citronella oil. I spray it onto my skin when needed. Of course, maintaining the cleanliness of the surrounding plays an important role in preventing breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of Malaria is important. Make sure to seek medical advise if you see any of these symptoms.

  1. Chills
  2. High Fever
  3. Profuse Sweating
  4. Heachace
  5. Nausea, Vomiting
  6. Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea

Fortress, art installation using kulambo or anti-mosquito nets

To celebrate the two decades of milestones that mark the fight against malaria, resulting in a 90 percent reduction of  reported cases, renowned fine artist Leeroy New has created “Fortress,” an installation that creatively weaves together used kulambo or anti-mosquito nets, collected from malaria-affected places.
“It made sense to transform and bring new life to these pre-used medicated mosquito nets, originally intended to act as protective shields against disease-carrying mosquitoes, into an immersive and ethereal fortress-like structure complete with pointed spires that attempts to represent the substantial preventive effect it has made on the fight against malaria,” said New as he described his inspiration for the piece.
Commissioned by Shell Companies in the Philippines (SCiP), the artwork aims to symbolize the company’s drive to eliminate malaria. New explained that it also represents the constant struggle to maintain control over threats to humanity’s well-being, be it physical, mental, or emotional.
“Also, meandering about the floating castle is what appears to be a serpentine like form made from the same mesh material that resembles the threatening beasts from fantasy stories that always aim to invade or destroy,” said New.
According to Leeroy New, this artwork symbolizes the collaborative effort made to eliminate the malaria infection from the Philippines. The art installation can be seen at the front of Daiichi Properties’ The Finance Center in Bonifacio Global City until the end of April.

Through the combined effort of Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI), the Department of Health (DOH), and local government units across the nation, malaria cases have dropped from over 50,000 in Palawan alone in 1999, to less than 5,000 in 2018.

The goal of Pilipinas Shell is to promote the well-being of the community, create a strong partnership with different sectors and make their initiatives sustainable. 

The program received another grant for 2018-2020 to tackle the last four highly endemic provinces, which has made QuiƱones confident that the Philippines can achieve its goal for the country to be malaria-free by 2030. These are the provinces of Palawan, Sulu, Occidental Mindoro and Sultan Kudarat. For the last 105 years of its operations in the country, Pilipinas Shell, with the Department of Health, has remained committed to helping not just the communities that it serves, but all communities throughout the nation. By combating dangerous diseases such as malaria, the company aims to make the future safer for all Filipinos.

With all these efforts, if we work together as a community we can beat malaria.


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