OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry and first lady Kim Henry are headed to Africa on a 10-day church mission to help fight the malaria epidemic in Ghana, Africa. The Henrys were scheduled to depart Friday for the sub-Saharan country on the southern coast of West Africa. They are paying for the trip with personal funds, according to the governor's office.
The effort is sponsored by His Nets, a nonprofit Christian organization. Mission members will distribute free mosquito nets, which help protect people, particularly pregnant women and young children, from malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Malaria claims the lives of thousands of Ghanaians each year and is considered the deadliest disease in Africa.
The Henrys are helping raise funds to pay for the mosquito nets. The mission group plans to distribute 5,500 nets at a cost of $6 each. Paul Calmes, former pastor at the Henrys home church, the First Baptist Church of Shawnee, is leading the mission, his third trip to Ghana.