I learned today that the actor George Clooney contracted malaria while he was on a humanitarian trip to Africa recently. This apparently is not the first bout with malaria and he has been treated and is doing fine. This disease, which kills a child every 45 seconds on this earth is still a killer. However in the United States, where we have more money and superior health care resources people can take life-saving medications so they don’t have to die from malaria.
It is true of many diseases. Years ago people died from illnesses that today would be easily treated with antibiotics. In a new book entitled, How they Croaked, by Georgia Bragg, we read about the death of many famous people. Most of them could have been saved from it they had our modern medicines. King Henry VIII died from infection in his leg caused by gout. When I studied my family history I learned of a woman in the family who lived in the 1800’s who died in childbirth. A simple C-section would have saved her life and the life of the baby.
Here is the point: we know how to save people from dying from malaria. It is not just about nets. United Methodists have raised $16 million dollars for campaign known as “Nothing but Nets.” The nets prevent people from getting bit by the deadly night time mosquitoes that cause malaria. The new campaign: “Imagine No Malaria” takes things even further.Life-saving medicines and lab tests are part of the program. It also teaches people how to properly use the bed nets and how to avoid contact with mosquitoes. In addition it pays for research on mosquitoes and how to stop them from infecting people with this deadly disease.
No one has to die from malaria. Please raise funds for this continuing effort at your church.It is one of the Four Foci of the United Methodist Church. Then bring your church’s offering to Annual Conference or send it to your conference office.
We believe in making disciples of Jesus Christ and then going out and transforming the world. There are many people who die needlessly and we can make a difference by our generosity.
For more information, go to: www.imaginenomalaria.org.