(This is a featured post from CRF President Milton Jones’ blog Through Orange Colored Glasses.)
It’s been hard to get malaria off my mind this week. Since World Malaria Day is tomorrow (April 25th), it has been one of those messages that I have heard over and over again. Malaria bothers me. I’m told nearly 2000 a day die of it. But it is not like AIDS where there is no cure. There was a cure over 100 years ago.
But it got personal with me a few weeks ago. A young girl in Kisumu that I know died of malaria. Her name was Vera . She was nine years old. She lived right in the area of the slum where we started a clinic to help with all kinds of diseases including malaria. But we ran out of medicine. She is one who went without. And she didn’t make it. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.
But this story isn’t uncommon. Nearly one million children every year do not make it to their 5th birthday because they die of this disease. Over 90% of these deaths will happen in Africa. Malaria is the biggest killer of young children there. Another 30 million women who are pregnant and their unborn children are also at high risk. The infection may cause death, stillbirth or spontaneous abortion. Most of these mothers simply can’t afford the medication needed to help with their malaria.
The best way to control malaria is with mosquito nets. People get malaria because they are bitten by a mosquito usually at night while they are sleeping. Most would not get bitten if they only had a mosquito net treated with insecticide. It is a pretty simple solution. And most mosquito nets are only $10. In fact, mosquito nets will reduce by 90% the transmission of this deadly disease.
Nets, medicine, and more facilities where nets and medicine are available are the answer. Nearly anyone could do something. And together we could save millions of lives.
If you want to buy a net, visit the CRF website.