Imagine a plague of tiny insects running wild in your community, biting children in their beds while they sleep. Imagine each bite poisoning their blood with deadly parasites. Imagine one child every 30 seconds dying of malaria. Then imagine stopping this killer disease. In one community in West Africa, it was done.Continue Reading ›
There are some terrifying creatures in our world. Lions and snakes and crocodiles, oh my! Sharks even get their own week of the year. But there is one little pest that is far more deadly than these that has recently been the object of a lot of fear and hate.Continue Reading ›
What does malaria feel like? If malaria goes untreated, what can it lead to?
Half of the world’s population, 3.3 billion people, is vulnerable to malaria. And it’s all because of mosquitoes.
I came home from Ghana with severe chills, headache and a fever. I’d been in Africa two weeks, and these symptoms alarmed me. Could I be infected with malaria?
As they toured a village in Uganda, they came upon a grave on a hillside of a man – a father, a husband, a friend, a son – prematurely taken from his family because of malaria. Malaria, a disease preventable with as little as a mosquito net and an elementary health education.
The need for mosquito nets for children in Burkina Faso is high, and solutions are being sought. Parental education is also a big step in the fight against malaria.
The theme for World Malaria Day 2011 is “Achieving Progress and Impact.” It’s a time to celebrate the victories of the past couple of years, but also to stress the great needs in order to reach near-zero deaths by 2015.
At the center of Riaciina village in Kenya lies a semi-permanent house, traditionally constructed. The walls of the house are made of mud and smoothly smeared with cow dung. The roof is thatched with iron sheets. There is a big gap between the mud and iron sheets. Mosquitoes penetrate freely day and night.
This is the home of Amina, a toddler enrolled in the local Child Survival Program (CSP). At the back of the homestead lies waste from the nearby kitchen. On the other side of the home are thick bushes of indigenous trees.
As the CSP specialist visited the mother, mosquito bites could be noted on the face of the child. Throughout the session, the TEEEE! TEEEE! sound of mosquitoes could be heard.
In some countries, mosquitoes are just nuisance, but in Riaciina, mosquitoes pose a deadly threat. Mosquito-borne malaria is the major killer disease in the area.
Riaciina village lies in the semi-arid part of Kenya on the extreme southern slopes of the largest mountain in Kenya, Mount Kirinyaga. The occupants are mainly the Ambeere and the Akaamba people whose primary work is farming and fishing.
The theme for World Malaria Day 2009 is “Count Malaria Out.”
“This year’s World Malaria Day marks a critical moment in time. The international malaria community has merely two years to meet theof delivering effective and affordable protection and treatment to all people at risk of malaria, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.”
You can help “Count Malaria Out” through our Bite Back Campaign.
Malaria begins with a bite. We believe that we can end malaria by taking a bigger bite.
Your $10 bite will purchase a bed net for a child, and that bed net can protect the child for three years.
Jeff Foxworthy’s 14-year-old daughter, Jordan, is taking a bite. A huge bite.
Oh yeah! The answer to yesterday’s malaria question is false.
Although malaria is an easily preventable disease, because of increasing drug resistance and struggling health-care systems, malaria infections in Africa have actually increased during the last three decades.
(Source: malarianomore.org, November 2008)
One of the things that shocked me when I visited Uganda last month was finding myself scared to death of mosquitoes. It was the strangest feeling to be afraid of something so small — something we usually think of as just a pest. But in Africa mosquito bites don’t just make your arm itch — they kill.
Malaria, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, is killing one million people a year. Most of these are children under age 5 in Africa. That’s right. Malaria, which is preventable and treatable, is killing more than 750,000 children a year in Africa.
Before visiting Uganda, I never really understood how mosquitoes managed to claim so many lives. But when I visited homes there, I understood. Many of the houses don’t have doors — just sheets covering the openings. And the windows are usually bare, too. So at night, the mosquitoes help themselves.
Catherine, a single mother I met in Uganda, told me that before Compassion gave her an insecticide-treated mosquito net, she did everything she could to protect her 10-year-old daughter, Irene. But her efforts were in vain.
“Every night, I tried to cover Irene with a blanket, but she would still get bitten all night long,” said Catherine. “I wanted so badly to buy her a net, but I couldn’t afford it.”
And when Irene got malaria, Catherine certainly couldn’t afford doctors’ bills. “Before Compassion, I would go pleading to doctors for help and beg to pay later,” she said.
Thank God that Compassion intervened! Through the ministry’s Complementary Interventions Program, Irene is now getting medicine and sleeps under a quality net. Today, she’s healthy and thriving.
You can make a difference and help protect vulnerable children like Irene! Since today is World Malaria Day, take a minute to learn more about this disease and see how you can join the fight!
I’m a fan of American Idol. I’m an especially big fan this week.
Wednesday marks the second year that the Fox reality show takes a break from their regular programming to do something virtually unheard of on television these days — focus on something other than making money.
Idol Gives Back is an effort to raise awareness and funds for children in need around the world. Last year the event raised $76 million. This year they’re shooting for $100 million.
Whether or not Fox brings in the millions this week that they normally make on the show, the event probably does enough for their public image to make the monetary sacrifice well worth it.
Whatever their motivation, though, it’s refreshing to see the spotlight shining on those who truly need it but rarely get it — children in poverty.
Among the recipients are organizations like the Global Fund, Malaria No More, Children’s Health Fund, Children’s Defense Fund and Make It Right, Brad Pitt’s campaign to help New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina.
There will be celebrities. There will be music. There will be tears. Millions of viewers will undoubtedly be moved to donate. Some will likely be profoundly impacted by the stories they hear and the images they see. Hopefully many hearts will be softened towards the plight of children in poverty and people will do more than just give once … they will begin to get involved.
I’m just excited that for a couple hours this week, children in poverty will have a real voice. That’s really what Compassion is all about.
What do you think? Do you agree? Will you be watching?
While Compassion might not be featured on the show, we are working just as hard to fight for children in poverty. Here are a couple specific things you might like to know about:
Compassion’s AIDS Initiative is focused on Africa. Yet HIV and AIDS are also significant threats to children outside of Africa and for that reason Compassion is also conducting HIV/AIDS work in non-African countries.