What would you do if you heard about a disease that kills 1 million people every year, most of them pregnant women and children? What if you heard that a child died every 45 seconds? Would you be outraged? Would you want to do something?
A Bishop in the Lutheran church of Kenya was one of 14 children born in his family. He's one of only 5 to survive. The other 9 died from malaria.
This disease is preventable with a mosquito net and a little education. All for $10.
You could save a family for $10. Really and truly. $10 covers the cost of a mosquito net, the cost of distribution, and the cost of education to help people understand that malaria isn't caused by cold drinks, eating too many mangos, or evil spirits. Malaria is caused by being bitten by a mosquito, typically between the hours of 10pm and 2am, while you're sleeping. This is simple enough for health-wise and literate Americans. But for Africans living in rural areas, this flies in the face of everything they know. Some fear that a net strong enough to kill mosquitos might also harm their family sleeping underneath it. But education is preventative medicine. There are fieldworkers already teaching people how to recognize symptoms of malaria, and how to use the nets to prevent exposure. Learning it from someone they trust, someone who gives them the net for free, well, ok, they'll try it. They'll put the net over their bed instead of using it to fish. In parts of Africa where the pilot programs are already in effect, the rate of net use for vulnerable populations has skyrocketed.
The church workers on the ground in Africa are willing to be part of the distribution system for these nets and the education that goes along with them. They're tired of burying the children of their congregations, of comforting the orphans who lost their mothers to malaria.
We don't have this problem in our country. We eradicated the disease decades ago. Africa would like to do the same.
How many more mothers have to bury more than half of their children?
How many families can you afford to save?
(Go ahead, follow the link. I dare you to look at those precious faces and think you don't have a ten-spot to share...)