- Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria.
- Malaria is a preventable disease.
- Ten dollars buys a long lasting net that protects a child for 3-5 years.
Project Mosquito Net is participating with Blog Action Day this year on October 15, 2008. Blog Action Day is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion. This years Blog Action Day topic is Poverty.
This year’s topic directly correlates with the disease of malaria. In so many ways poverty and malaria go hand and hand with one another. If you take a look at the Malaria Atlas project, http://www.map.ox.ac.uk, you can easily see that the impoverished nations are the nations that suffer the greatest from endemic malaria while the nations with great wealth have managed to eradicate malaria completely. Places like the United States eradicated malaria from all U.S. states, particularly the south in Louisiana where it was present in the 1950’s. The same is true of Europe, Australia and regions in Asia.
Disease and poverty have historically always been tightly entwined. Good health care requires the ability to pay both for a nurse or doctor’s services, money to buy drug regimens to relieve symptoms and money to purchase life saving measures to prevent disease such as purchasing long lasting nets for malaria protection. Poverty prevents people from access to all of these health benefits. With the global reach of the Internet our world has become smaller, so it is easier now to view the parts of the world that have tremendous material wealth and at the same time also be very aware of those places in the planet that suffer under tremendous poverty. This amazing disparity on our planet where over three billion people (roughly half the world’s population) live on less than two dollars a day becomes more and more apparent. When people are forced to live with so little expendable income it is easy to understand how difficult even spending $5.00 on an insecticide treated net would be and why it may be impossible for a family under these circumstance to ever be able to afford one.
It may seem like a malaria bed net might not be a solution to poverty but we think it can be a piece of the solution and a piece that may be larger than first appears. Not only do bed nets save children lives, they also ensure a child’s health from a debilitating disease that can last a lifetime it can also ensure a child is healthy enough to attend school. Malaria is not only a disease that kills children it also a disease once contracted, and if survived, means a lifetime of health problems preventing children from regularly attending school, thus ensuring one more generation will have had limited access to education and continuing the cycle of poverty. Poverty is cyclical, but like any cycle it can be broken, and the prevention of malaria can help break this cycle.