World Malaria Day

Today is World Malaria Day. Some statistics say that over 90% of malaria cases happen in Africa but it looks like malaria deaths are decreasing. Good news, but can the world really achieve the Millennium Development Goal of having ‘near-zero’ deaths due to malaria by 2015?

Most people living in developing countries don’t know when their local clinic will, if ever, get the drugs that will save their life. But malaria is preventable. So how do you prevent malaria? Easy. Sleep in a mosquito net-every night. Female mosquitos spread malaria. Female mosquitos only come out at night. Night is when you sleep. Logical solution? Sleep in a mosquito net every night and you have drastically reduced your chances of contracting malaria.

I went to sleep one night and didn’t close the net-something that would have taken less than 10 seconds. I woke up the next morning covered in mosquito bites. I jokingly told Kim that I would see her back in town in 7-10 days because I’d have malaria. And then it happened.

Malaria.

Almost a million people die of malaria each year. Some really scary statistics say that a child dies from malaria every 45 seconds. Depending on how slow of a reader you are, that means that at least 2 kids have died from malaria since you started reading this blog post. Even more if you clicked the link and read my entire blog post about getting malaria.

The UN has said it is going to take $3.2 billion more dollars (they have already raised $6 billion) to reach their ‘near-zero’ goal. I’m trying my best to be less cynical about the world and especially about development. Things have to start somewhere. So find an organization that helps prevent malaria. Whether the organization works with governments to provide better health care in their country or works like local organizations to hand out mosquito nets for people to sleep in, donate your time or your money.

We’ll only be able to achieve the MDGs if we work together.

Can we really achieve having ‘near-zero’ deaths due to malaria by 2015? I sure hope so.

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