People don’t get as excited about ending malaria as they do about fighting AIDS or stopping child slavery—and yet malaria kills 2,000 children every day, most of them under the age of 5. Malaria is a silent catastrophe, a disaster that is not constantly broadcast on TV, even though it kills so many. In the United States, we eradicated malaria in 1951—but more than 250 million people in the poorest parts of the world are infected every year.
Why care about malaria?
Malaria costs Africa around $12 billion in lost economic productivity every year, even though it could be controlled for a fraction of that amount. Imagine how great this economic impact is for people living on less than $2 a day. It prevents growth and traps people into a deepening cycle of poverty and disease.
Malaria afflicts primarily the poorest populations who tend to live in malaria-prone areas and lack access prevention and treatment tools. Poor nutrition makes children and adults even more vulnerable. We ended malaria here, we can end it elsewhere.
What can you do with a bed net?
Bed nets save lives. For just $6, a simple bed net can reduce malaria incidence by more than half. The latest insecticide-treated bed nets are a very effective and low-cost way to prevent mosquito bites. Studies show that when villagers sleep under a treated net, malaria incidence may be reduced by up to 50-60 percent. A $6 bed net is all that is required to save lives. Yet, bed nets are not available to most in rural Africa as few can afford them due to intense poverty. Imagine, knowing there were life-saving measures out there, and not being able to provide them for your children.
Your voice matters when you use it.
Congress committed $5 billion over five years to combat malaria, but current funding is well short. Malaria interventions are among the world’s most cost-effective and simple life-saving health solutions. But for the hundreds of millions of people living on less than $2 per day, they remain unaffordable. In July 2008, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Global AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria bill that committed $5 billion over five years to combat malaria—but our nation is short of fulfilling our promises. Speak up and tell Congress to fulfill its commitments, and together we can make a difference and end malaria.
How to get involved.
Host a Night of Nets to End Malaria. Unite your community around this urgent issue, raise funds for life-saving bed nets, and advocate your Congressional leaders to make ending malaria an urgent priority through World Vision ACT:S.