World Malaria Day: April 25
“. . . Most who have the technology and the funds to battle [malaria] live an ocean’s distance from the screams of mothers watching their children die,” wrote pediatrician Brett MacLean last year from Koutiala Hospital for Women and Children in Mali, West Africa (Alliance Life, March 2011).
“Sadly, malaria doesn’t exist anymore in the United States or Europe. I say ‘sadly’ because if it did, we … would have put every last dollar toward malaria research rather than watch another one of our children die or be permanently brain damaged because of this vicious killer.”
Alliance Workers on Front Lines
The Alliance is no stranger to this vicious killer. “In 1890 the first seven C&MA missionaries arrived in West Africa, and within the first few months, four died of a deadly fever. Very likely the cause was malaria,” reported Peggy Drake in her article “African Rains” (Alliance Life, December 2007).
A nurse who serves in Burkina Faso, Peggy is among a company of Alliance medical workers in West Africa who are eyewitnesses to the heavy toll the disease takes during the African rainy season. This is June through November when malaria-carrying mosquitoes proliferate.
“I knew malaria caused fever and a bad headache, but I didn’t know it could cause renal failure, coma, seizures, and permanent neurologic problems,” says pediatrician Jason Foster, a hospital colleague of the MacLeans in Mali.
“Most of the complications occur in children and mostly to those whose families don’t—or can’t—seek medical care quickly enough.”
- Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
- In 2010, malaria caused an estimated 655, 000 deaths (with an uncertainty range of 537, 000 to 907, 000), mostly among African children.
- Every minute, a child in Africa dies from malaria.
- Malaria is preventable and curable.
Present and Eternal Hope
Effective malaria-prevention strategies are gaining ground. “. . . The U.S. global malaria strategy involves the spraying of homes with insecticides to keep deadly mosquitoes at bay and the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets,” wrote Tim Zeimer in his 2011 alife article. “This is one of the simplest technologies imaginable, but is also one of the most effective.
In her 2007 alife article, Peggy observed: “Insecticide-treated nets are highly effective against the mosquitoes that carry the deadly disease, but many villages have not received them.
“Your continued support of the Great Commission Fund” allows The Alliance to place trained personnel into areas of the world where education and especially prayer are making a difference in people’s lives. . . . thousands of men, women, and children have been led to the Lord through medical missions throughout Africa.”
What You Can Do
- Learn about the Great Commission Fund.
- Make a donation to the GCF and enable The Alliance to send workers to the field who engage in holistic ministries, including combating life-threatening diseases like malaria, offering present and eternal hope in Jesus’ Name.
Check out several articles about this pernicious disease and learn what’s being done to combat it: