I was listening to NPR yesterday and heard a snippet from a story that they were doing about polio and how it is nearly eradicated. Now, don’t forget “nearly eradicated” fits pretty well along the lines that “close is only good in horseshoes and hand-grenades.” Nearly eradicated means that the world is not done yet with the disease and until every case is gone, the disease still rages. I’m thankful that polio will “soon” be eradicated, but I soberly realize that there are many other preventable diseases that are also on our list. Take malaria for example.
The website for Imagine No Malaria puts it this way
This is a Fight We Must Win, Because…
…every 45 seconds, a child in Africa dies of malaria.
…malaria claims more than 1 million lives each year.
…infants, children and pregnant women are at greatest risk.
…90 percent of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
And…did I mention that Malaria can be eradicated and thus, is preventable? I am so proud that the United Methodist Church has joined with other organizations and people who are working to eliminate malaria by 2015. Something that has caught my eye is the Imagine No Malaria initiative and the House Party idea. They suggest having a get-together that is aimed at educating people in our circle of friends about malaria and giving them an opportunity to donate toward the cause of education, prevention and treatment of malaria. This is a great opportunity for Campus Ministries or Sunday School classes to be involved with! There are lots of ideas, resources, and other help on the www.imaginenomalaria.org/houseparty website. I’m going to talk to some students soon and see how we can participate. I hope that you’ll join me.
Hard to believe that malaria was eradicated in the U.S. around 60 years ago, yet it's killing close to a million people in Africa every year. Hope to hear more about what you and your students will be doing.