Sunday, April 25: World Malaria Day. One day set to help raise awareness about the widespread devastating impact of Malaria.
Malaria is a deadly mosquito-born disease, that effected Europe and North America as recently as the 1950s. However, simple public health measures helped end the spread and eliminate the disease in these parts of the world.
Sadly, Malaria still afflicts approximately 500,000,000 (500 Million) people in Africa, Asia and Latin America and kills one child every 30 seconds, the time it has taken to read this post.
These staggering numbers can cause paralysis. What can I do?
The image that often comes to mind for me when I consider these numbers is that of one little girl and her father, in Uganda, at the bedside Kate Walsh, R.N., helping the father apply cool compresses to reduce the girl’s fever. Or the mother at the rural clinics in Cameroon with her small son lethargically laying across her lap as the exam was preformed, and medications given.
There are huge global efforts to reduce the impact of malaria, seeking ways to create an immunization, distributing treated bed nets, and the ultimate impact of these efforts hopefully will one day change the face of this disease.
In the mean time, Mission Doctors and their families who can, try to offer care that is both immediate and compassionate to one patient at a time. It may not even be a drop in the bucket, but as a parent myself, I do understand that the entire world can seem to exist in arms of a parent holding one sick child.
For all those suffering today, for their families, for researchers and for everyone who is working to turn the tide on malaria today we pray.