April 25 is World Malaria Day and we will be observing it at services on April 27 and 28. Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria. According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 200 million cases of malaria each year and of those infected, nearly ¾ million people die.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. The Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) was created to raise awareness of malaria and its daily effect on the lives of people in sub-Saharan Africa (90% of malaria deaths occur there) and has set a goal to raise $45 million in the global effort to help end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. The LMI is a partnership of Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), with support from the United Nations Foundation.
Ninety percent of those killed by malaria are children under the age of 5 years, however, since the LMI was begun nearly 3 years ago, there has been a decrease in the number of deaths of children – so progress is being made toward the goal! A child died of malaria every 30 seconds just 2 ½ years ago; then in 2012 it improved to every 45 seconds; and by February 2013, it decreased to every 60 seconds!
There are 3 ways that LMI works, and the first is to educate parents to the cause (a bite by an infected mosquito) and about fever recognition, as early treatment is vital. Secondly, LMI provides treated bed nets (as most bites occur between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.), and trains families on their proper use. The last way is to treat those who are infected, by improving access to medicine and affordable health care.
We can help by praying for those who suffer from malaria, and for those who are working to prevent and contain the disease. We can make donations to Redeemer that will go directly to LWR. Every cent goes for the fight against malaria, as the United Nations Foundation grant pays for all expenses and administrative costs. A list of gifts and what they can provide are:
$ 1.00 can help a child with malaria receive medicine.
$ 10.00 can provide one family with a treated bed net and the proper education on its use.
$ 25.00 can help pay for insecticides to spray homes to prevent transmission.
$ 50.00 can provide anti-malarial medicine to pregnant women, or pay for the cost of the broadcasting of malaria prevention messages on a local radi0 station in Africa.
$ 100.00 can help train a health care worker to diagnose and treat malaria.
$1,000.00 or more can provide microscopes, and other medical equipment, to rural health clinics.