Before I traveled to Africa, I made several trips to the travel clinic to get vaccinated for various diseases that plagued the area I would be traveling to. One of the medications I received was for malaria. Each night in Tanzania I slept under a mosquito net.
I took my medicine each day and diligently sprayed myself with bug spray. Many, many children and families are not afforded that luxury.
Malaria is a blood infection caused by a tiny parasite. A person becomes infected after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the malaria parasite. Malaria starts with a fever. Then come the headaches and the vomiting. If not treated quickly, malaria can overwhelm the body or even infect the brain and cause a coma. At this point, malaria becomes fatal. Here are some quick figures for you to consider:
- *350-500 million cases of malaria occur worldwide each year.
- *Malaria causes 20 percent of ALL childhood deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
- *90 percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa—nearly 1 million people.
- *Malaria kills 2,000 children each day.
Did you catch that last number….2,000! Two thousand children EACH DAY die from an illness that is 100% preventable. A disease that does not even land on our radar here in America. However in Africa it is an all too real reality.
Just yesterday I received a sobering reminder of the devastation of disease in Africa. My Compassion child in Uganda, 9-year old Godfrey, wrote me to tell me of his mother’s death. He included this heartbreaking drawing:
Godfrey’s father had already died before I began writing to him. Now this little boy who is only 1 1/2 weeks younger than my daughter is now an orphan. I do not know why his mother died. Perhaps it was disease, perhaps it was an accident, but it was a reminder that there are TOO many little children who grow up in all parts of the world without the love and security of their parents. There are too many mothers who will bury their children today because they died from illnesses that could have been prevented with so little.
This summer I will be focusing on Compassion’s Bite Back program. Bite Back is working to combat malaria through treated mosquito nets, education, and medication. For only $10 you can make it possible for a family to receive a treated net and give them the security and peace of mind that comes with protection from this deadly disease.
$10….so little for so much. It’s nothing…3 drinks at Starbucks…2 meals at McDonalds….1 movie ticket…..so little. Let’s put the power of social media to good use this summer! Would you join me in supporting Bite Back? I’ll get the ball rolling and donate the first net. Will you be next? To donate click the link below. Of course, donations of more than $10 will be happily and gratefully accepted. $10 is all it takes to provide one net.
No child needs to suffer because of malaria! No mother needs to bury their son or daughter because of a mosquito! Let’s work together and BITE BACK!