Photograph by Karen Kasmauski for National Geographic
It’s World Malaria Day.
I’ve had Malaria 5 times (so far). I read somewhere that once you have it, it stays in your body. I don’t really know enough about that because it’s actually been hard finding information specifically about that…but maybe that explains why I get it so often…who knows. I would like to be enlightened if there’s a doctor in the field out there who reads this.
I should have died more than once, but I didn’t. I’m very lucky. One doctor in Tanzania said I was “…a very stubborn girl. You should have been dead but you aren’t because you are so stubborn.” I knew that trait would pay off somewhere.
Stubborn or lucky - either way, I’m extremely grateful. Many people - especially children - are not as lucky.
Children, with their small bodies and immature immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death. In fact, every minute a child dies of malaria.
Globally there are an estimated 219 million cases of malaria and 660,000 malaria deaths each year, over 90% of which occur in Africa.
Malaria accounts for one in six of all childhood deaths in Africa.*
It’s an excrutiating experience, let alone a horrible way to die.
I can’t imagine what it is like for a mother and father to watch their child die in pain and not be able to do anything to fix the situation and make their child better.
Something as simple as a mosquito net can make all the difference for these children.
Please support Spread the Net, Malaria No More and Roll Back Malaria. Their awesome sites are full of amazing resources and information, ways to get involved and spread the word.
*from Spead the Net