Malaria is indeed the world’s most dangerous disease, infecting thousands daily and killing millions annually. In fact, malaria alone has killed more people in total than all of the major wars that have ever been fought by humanity, combined. The disease affects most rural parts of the world with Africa being the most hardly affected region, followed by the Latin Americas; the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the Latin Americas could soon eradicate malaria in recent years. That’s good news.
Related media: How Malaria Was Eradicated In The U.S.
The Malaria Epidemic
Malaria is a disease caused by the pesky little creature — the mosquito — and it’s one of the oldest known diseases in the world. Even though malaria has been totally eradicated in the United States, it’s still a global epidemic in the world — half the world is still at risk. In fact, every two minutes a child dies from this deadly, yet preventable, disease. Every November, the global health community commemorates Malaria Day in the Americas to campaign against the fight against malaria in the region. Significantly, there’s been moves toward the eradication of malaria but the disease continues to affect millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
You usually think malaria is an African epidemic, but the truth is, it’s a global epidemic, and most cases occur in Africa. The Americas is the second affected region, and malaria still remains in the rural, hard-to-reach remote areas, where there is limited access to healthcare. Although cases have been on the decline since 2000, about 132 million people in the Americas are considered to be at high risk of malaria, today. In 2016, 216 million people around the world got infected with malaria, killing 455,000 people, approximately 70 percent of those casualties were children.
Also in the Americas, malaria mostly affects pregnant women, displaced people, miners, and farmers in the Amazon region. Venezuela, in particular, has succeeded in recent years reduced the spread of malaria, but the country’s political and economic crisis has stepped on the brakes on the progress made so far — lately, malaria rates have increased by 76 percent.
Grabbing The Traitor With Our Nets
But there is good news. There are ways you can help. Nothing But Nets, a UN Foundation that’s dedicated to providing insecticide bed nets to fight against the spread of malaria in most rural communities, is seeking your support.
“As we start the season of giving, now is the perfect time to donate a life-saving bed net to protect families from the malaria-carrying mosquitoes that bite at night.” They published an article posted on Curiosity. “And the better news? When you donate to Nothing But Nets, your donation will be doubled to protect twice the families.”
So in 2017, Nothing But Nets expanded its mission to eliminate the disease in Latin America and the Caribbean. Statistics aren’t looking so promising, although, it seems there is a chance of winning the fight against malaria. At the moment, a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds instead of the previous two minutes. Venezuela is quite losing the foot on the pedal, but Nothing But Nets is also working in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Ecuador, where rates of malaria are so low enough that it’s near eradication.
It’s really important than ever to support Nothing But Nets in their effort to provide more insecticide bed nets to prevent mosquitoes in these countries, and help eradicate malaria. Resources such as bed nets, rapid diagnostic testing, as well as malaria prevention and treatment tools, if deployed, could go a long way in eradicating malaria while the rates of the disease are lower now.
WHO Has Good Hopes
2018 was a historic landmark: Paraguay was certified as malaria-free, being the first Latin American country to achieve this since the 1960s. Countries like Ecuador and Venezuela are still in the race to win the fight against malaria eradication. According to the WHO, a bed net is bar-none the most effective method of preventing the disease. Since the risk of being infected with malaria by a mosquito is likely at dusk and even gets worse, the effective way to prevent the disease is to prevent mosquitoes from biting people.
Thanks to the UN Foundation Nothing But Nets, you can just donate US$10 to help provide an insecticide bed net as a life-saving gesture towards the eradication of malaria. And better yet still, your donation will not only provide one but two-bed nets. So when you make a donation towards a family in need, the bed nets last up to 2-4 years. Not only do you provide a solution, but the solution could also save lives for quite a long while.
Let us know if you donated, we’ll give you a shoutout.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sun, Jan 13, 2019.