Aid Group's Miss. Fish Fight Malaria in Haiti

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Malaria kills thousands of people worldwide every day.

Operation Blessing International is helping to fight the malaria and they're doing it with the help of a tiny fish from Mississippi.

Located just north of Yazoo City, Miss., is Thompson Fisheries, a family fish farm with a natural way to control the Magnolia State's mosquito population. It's known as the Gambusia.

"It's millions in the ponds," said Louie Thompson of Thompson Fisheries, Inc. "There are literally millions."

The tiny minnows eat mosquito eggs, and thanks to a partnership with Operation Blessing, Thompson has been able to pack and ship the little fish to other parts of the country.

"Over the course of the last four years we have moved over 50,000 fish to New Orleans," Thompson said.

A new order for the fish farms has a bit further to travel. Thompson and his team are carefully bagging thousands headed for Haiti.

Haiti is the only country in the Western hemisphere where the mosquito-born disease is still considered an epidemic.

"It literally has the potential to save thousands and thousands of lives," said Tim Crowley of Operation Blessing. "One of the biggest problem they have in Haiti is mosquito born diseases, like malaria. And untreated malaria kills thousands every year."

Temperature, oxygen and time are critical for the fish to survive the long journey. Virginia businessman and pilot Ray Noftsinger has volunteered to fly the fish where they are needed most.

"I've been blessed with this airplane and I really appreciate what Operation Blessing is doing in Haiti," said Noftsinger.

"I'm volunteering my airplane and I am volunteering to take a few days off work to do this mission to help these people in Haiti," he added.

After thirty hours, the fish arrive safely in Haiti, where Dr. Valentine Abe guides the process of releasing them from the bags, and into tanks of water.

This is a partnership which Bill Horan, Operation Blessing's president, actually began working on more than a year ago.

"The terrible earthquake, January 12, turned that all upside down," Horan said.

Algae will help to feed the fish and attract mosquitos.

"I officially declare open Bug Buster II, Bug Buster II in Haiti," Abe said. "Right on, my brother. And thank you Operation Blessing."

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