Here's what I've learned about Malaria, some of it recently when a student became very ill with the disease: There are (at least) three strains of Malaria. Two of them are less dangerous and one can be very serious. In Malaria prone areas, many people develop some natural immunity. I asked about Malaria many times in Ghana and was told that Malaria was no big deal. Adults get it fairly frequently, get miserably sick, and get well. Much like a bad flu, especially with the less severe strains.
People with weakened immune systems, whether from malnutrition or another disease such as HIV, are at greater risk. Those with no immunity to Malaria, such as travelers from non-Malaria regions, and infants and children with little immunity, are also at a much greater risk. This is why the death rates from Malaria are so high among children under 5 years old.
We were also told in Ghana that most people use mosquito nets, at least in the urban areas because that's where there's education about it. In the rural areas, it is less common, and again, where death rates are high.
The education that NetsForLife is doing is very important. Malaria is only carried by mosquitoes, and by mosquitoes that are primarily active at night. One bed net can protect several people and save the lives of children and adults who are real risk of death.
Poverty around the world is rampant. Corruption in government is commonplace and taken for granted by many. War is all too familiar. Natural disaster - like the Tsunami and volcanic eruption that struck Indonesia this week - is unavoidable. Malaria deaths are one problem that can be interrupted.
Please make a donation to NetsForLife if you haven't already. This month your donation will be matched 100%, doubling it's impact.
Just $12 will buy a net and perhaps save a whole family the terrible grief of losing a child.