World Malaria Day

Today is World Malaria Day — a day to take a close look at this deadly, water-related disease, the progress made in beating it, and how much we have yet to accomplish.

The facts:

  • Malaria, carried by mosquitoes, is completely avoidable and treatable.
  • Still, malaria is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and kills more than one million people every year.
  • Three out of four people killed by malaria are children under age 5.
  • Almost 90 percent of deaths by malaria occur in Africa.
  • While mosquito nets are part of the solution, a total end to the disease also will require the use of insecticide, treatment for pregnant women, education, diagnostic tests, effective drugs, research and advocacy. It must be a global effort.

Source: World Malaria Report 2010

Food for the Hungry combats malaria in resource-poor communities around the world. Often, education about malaria goes hand-in-hand with education about clean water.

For example, a simple way to protect your family from malaria-carrying mosquitoes is to cover your water tank, eliminating a place for them to breed. Covering the tank also keeps other bugs and animals from contaminating the water.

In some places, FH provides mosquito nets to drape over beds since the mosquito that carries malaria is most active in the dusk, nighttime and dawn hours. However, the nets are so cheap that many families can afford them, so great emphasis is put on education — once people know how valuable these nets are, they’ll often go out and purchase them.

FH also provides diagnostic testing and medical treatment in many areas for families (often children) who need it most. Too often, a child will die from this disease simply because the parents didn’t know what it was or how to treat it.

Help prevent unnecessary deaths from malaria and other water-related diseases by joining Poverty 180 for only $9 per month. (Not sure? Check out our blog to see examples of what we do with this money.)