World Malaria Day: What's all the buzz about?
World Malaria Day is April 25. Malaria remains a leading cause of death among African children under 5.
The blackness outside is too dark to see. All your senses can make out are the sounds of the night. You can hear animals off in the distance, and your small children are sound asleep next to you, worn out from a hard day of play near the pond not far from your house.
All of a sudden, the sound you fear the most: A faint buzz that seems to be coming from nowhere. Then, it's silent. You tense. It starts again — this time closer, near your head. Then, it's silent again. You pray the prayer you've done so many times before, asking God to protect your family.
It's the silence that scares you the most, because the mosquito could have landed on one of your children.
The poor are the most affected, because they simply can't afford to prevent or treat the deadly killer that claims about 1 million children every year. Because 90 percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, the disease has a disastrous impact on the continent's economy. However, most of these deaths could be prevented simply by providing treated bed nets and medication for pregnant mothers.
This is why we work to fight malaria worldwide. World Vision knows that the key to saving lives is raising awareness. We work to improve the home care of those suffering from malaria and to integrate malaria education into health training programs and health sensitization meetings.
An infrastructure built on education is essential for progress. We are teaching community caregivers how to recognize the signs of malaria and evaluate its severity, providing technical assistance and training and the use of innovative tools to help adults and youth learn early detection techniques. Among our initiatives, we help prevent malaria by promoting the importance of long-lasting, treated bed nets. We distribute these nets through health centers and provide low-cost treatment as an effective means of reducing cases of malaria among pregnant women.
In addition, World Vision is working right here at home to fight the disease worldwide by advocating for more attention and intervention from our government leaders on Capitol Hill.
Now, imagine you're lying in bed, and your children are tucked away underneath the safety of a treated bed net. But this time, instead of worrying about mosquitoes, you smile as you drift off to sleep, saying a prayer of thanksgiving.
Read more about how World Vision is working to fight this killer of children:
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