Chemically treated bed nets being
distributed in Uganda.
measurable gains that have been made in the past 20 years, malaria remains one
of the world's deadliest diseases, causing
665,000 deaths in a year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, a majority of the global burden of malaria is concentrated in
sub-Saharan Africa, where 91 percent of deadly cases occurred. Although several
programs were launched in the mid-20th century to immunize vast numbers of
families against malaria, these initiatives were suspended due to rising
resistance against the immunizations and the cost of maintaining these
However, according to Humanosphere, these
health care projects have been reintroduced in parts of six African
nations: Mali, Togo, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. In Uganda, where
children sometimes suffer six occurrences of malaria in a year, scientists are
exploring vaccines using artemisinin, a reliable killer of malaria
A Resurfacing Problem
Approximately 1.2 million
children across sub-Saharan Africa take antimalarial medications each year to
prevent the spread of the disease and the associated loss of life. However,
despite these measures, more than 600,000 children die from malaria annually,
many of whom are under the age of 5. In light of recurring cases of malaria
reported in several African countries, seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC)
programs have been reinstated in some nations.
The concentration of
these initiatives has been focused on the six nations because doctors feel
these preventive malarial drugs have a greater impact there than in East and
South Africa, where the populations have built up resistance to the
treatments. Potential resistance to artemisinin is a major concern among
researchers, such as Grant Dorsey, a University of California malariologist
who works in Uganda.
"We don't feel like we have another choice,"
Dorsey says. "Kids get malaria six times per year in Uganda, so as it is,
they already take artemether/lumefantrine. It's a desperate situation."
Successfully controlling the spread of malaria is one of the greatest
challenges facing health officials in Africa. According to Robert Newman,
director of the malaria program at the World Health Organization, a failure to
contain the malarial threat in sub-Saharan Africa could result in a widespread
resurgence of the disease. This, in turn, could lead to the loss of even more
lives, particularly children living in poverty.
Despite its prevalence and potential deadliness, malaria can
be prevented with inexpensive measures, particularly with insecticide-treated
mosquito bed nets. Malaria is endemic in 27 countries in which ChildFund
operates, including Senegal, Uganda and Kenya.
worked in Kenya since 1960, and with approximately half of the country's
population of 43 million living below the poverty line, many children's lives are at
risk from preventable diseases. Malnutrition, which often affects children
and pregnant women in need, weakens the immune system and makes them more
susceptible to malaria and other diseases.
Chemically treated bed
nets are one of the cheapest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of
malaria. ChildFund's Gifts
of Love & Hope catalog allows you to purchase one of these nets
for just $11. Your generosity and support could save a child's life, so please
consider purchasing one of these chemically treated bed nets and help
ChildFund save lives and protect children from this terrible disease.
Alternatively, you can buy a dozen bed nets for a gift of $132, which will
help families living in Cambodia, The Gambia, India, Indonesia, Kenya,
Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Uganda or Zambia.
Malaria remains a deadly
threat to many families living in poverty. Please help children in need
today by supporting ChildFund, and help us fight malaria in the world's