Saturday, April 1, 2017

World Malaria Day is April 25th!

April 25th is a very important day.  On this day, people in many parts of the world will come together to raise awareness and combat malaria.

Malaria is a very serious infectious disease that is caused by a parasite.  The parasite is carried by a mosquito.  Thus, the disease is spread through the insect’s bite.  “Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However, South-East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, are also at risk. In 2015, 91 countries and areas had ongoing malaria transmission” (World Health Organization).

Malaria can be prevented in various ways.  Methods include installing bednets that contain insecticide, spraying insecticide, and taking antimalarial medicine.  Like many infections diseases, you’ll find that where malaria is currently an epidemic, people are living in poverty, as prevention methods and treatment require money.  It is interesting to note, UNICEF actually labels malaria as "a major cause of poverty."  The organization goes on to say that "the cost of malaria control and treatment drains African economies, slowing economic growth by about 1.3 per cent a year. Its prevention is an important part of poverty reduction and economic development.”  Additionally,  as the parasite becomes more and more resistant to medication, the cost rises, because stronger treatments have to be used.

Problems with malaria tend to occur in countries that have very warm climates.  In regards to the United States, the disease was a serious problem in South.  However, since the 1950s, this is not been the case.   However, it is important to note that 1,500 to 2,000 cases of malaria still pop up in the United States every year, although outbreaks are relatively isolated.  “The vast majority of cases in the United States are in travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs, many from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia” (Centers for Disease Control).  In the United States, there still remains mosquitoes that are capable of transmitting malaria.  So helping people in other countries will certainly help people in this country, as well.

To learn how to help people in various parts of the world prevent malaria, visit the following sites:

 
  
To read about the symptoms and course of malaria, please click here

Sources:
Centers for Disease Control, About Malaria
https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/index.html 

Centers for Disease Control, Malaria Transmission in the United States
https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/us_transmission.html

Time and Date, World Malaria Day
https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-malaria-day

World Health Organization, Malaria
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/

UNICEF, The Reality of Malaria
https://www.unicef.org/health/files/health_africamalaria.pdf

D. Sledge and G. Mohler, G.  (Aug 2013).  Eliminating Malaria in the American South:  An Analysis of the Decline of Malaria in 1930s Alabama.  American Journal of Public Health, 103(8), 1381-1392.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007881/


 









Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sponsorship Program for Women

In the humanitarian world, the word "sponsor" may conjure up an image of an adult providing money to a child in need on a recurring basis.  However, there is a program in existence that focuses on the sponsoring of women.  Although it is just a little more expensive than some sponsorship programs, it's a very important program and certainly deserves a look.

The women sponsored in  Women for Women International's Sponsor a Sister program have been victims of war and war-like conflicts.  Many of us are aware of the atrocities forced upon women during these times, which can leave females damaged-  physically, emotionally, and financially.  Reference.com states,  the effect of a war "can be both physical injury of varying degrees of severity and the dangerous invisible wounds caused by psychological trauma and stress."  The United Nations Security Council expresses that "women suffer disproportionately during and after war."

Sponsor a Sister helps women in various countries, including South Sudan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan , Kosovo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Currently the price is 35 dollars.  Your money goes to a variety of things that will help your "sister,"  including food, clean water, medicine, and perhaps the most important thing of all- job training.  Additionally,  many women from the program go on to open their own businesses.  She wins, her children win, and you win because you get to do something remarkable.  You get to contribute to lives and well-being of an entire family!! You can even send letters to the woman you are sponsoring, which takes your rewards to an even deeper level!

The sponsorship lasts for one year.   For more information, visit Women for Women International's website:


Sources:

Women for Women International, Homepage- http://www.womenforwomen.org

Reference.com, What are the Effects of War on Some People? https://www.reference.com/world-view/effects-war-people-295ee205c6ea63b5#

United Nations Security Council [press release], October 29, 2005, http://www.un.org/press/en/un-bodies/security-council

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Mentoring From Around the World to Help South Africa's Youths

When it comes to the most important inventions created since 1900, few would disagree with putting the Internet at or near the top of the list.  In addition to providing an enormous amount of information on countless topics, the Internet also allows people to help make the world a better place.  Infinite Family is one of the many agencies that harness the power of the Internet for the greater good.

Infinite Family helps children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS by providing them with a mentor.  Mentors are adults who live all over the world and wish to provide hope, guidance, and emotional support to mentees.  Mentees, also referred to as Net Buddies, are children of various ages who live in South Africa.  These children may have been orphaned by AIDs, may have HIV/AIDS in their family, and/or may have HIV/AIDS themselves.  The agency does not provide this personal information.  The agency does provide several training sessions for those who wish to be mentors, which touch on a variety of things, including the history of South Africa, cultural issues involving HIV/AIDS, and more.  Training sessions are carried out over the Internet.

Mentoring is done inside video chat rooms.  There are a variety of things that can take place in the video chat rooms: conversations, tutoring, playing games, drawing, writing, etc.

Mentoring takes place once a week for 30 minutes.  Such limited times can create change that can last a lifetime.

I've been a mentor for many years.  It's one of the most important things that I have ever done in my life. There is no fee involved.  But patience and kindness are required.

To learn more, visit Infinite Family.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Helping the Bees

For the past few years, I've had a love/hate relationship with bees.  I don't like finding them in my house.  I don't like that at all.  And for some reason, they like to circle me when I walk down the street.  It's quite embarrassing to walk down the street encircled by bees, especially when I'm on my crutches and I have to walk even slower than I normally do.

But there's no doubt about it, bees are major contributors to the survival of humans.  They are extremely important to us agriculturally and economically.  I am strongly against bee keeping.  I believe that bees should be free.  But the benefits of bees go way beyond honey.

Elite Daily presents the following about bees:

"...These are many of the crops pollinated by bees: Almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cashews, coffee, cranberries, cucumbers, eggplants, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, okra, peaches, pears, peppers, strawberries, tangerines, walnuts and watermelons.

Without bees, these crops would cease to exist. Bees are crucial to our existence as well, thus we must work harder to protect and preserve them" (Haltiwanger, 2014).

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (2011), "without bees to spread seeds, many plants-including food crops- would die off."

Yet, bees are being killed off at alarming rates.  There are different factors that come into play, including global warming and use of neonicotinoid pesticides.  Global warming is a huge, complex problem.  However, the pesticide issues may be tackled more easily.  Neonicotinoid pesticides are particularly dangerous to bees.

North Coast Gardening presents the public with information on bee friendly pesticides.  According to them, if you plan on using pesticides that are dangerous to bees, you need to use them "at dawn or dusk when bees aren't active" (Genevieve, 2010).  To reach that article, please click here.

Please consider signing the following petition that will go to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Source:
Haltiwanger, J.   (Sept. 15, 2014).  If all the bees in the world die, humans would not service. Elite Daily.
http://elitedaily.com/news/world/humans-need-bees-to-survive/755737/

Natural Resources Defense Council.  (2011).  Why we need bees:  Nature's tiny workers put food on the table.

McDonell, T.  (July 9, 2015). Here's why all the bees are dying.  Mother Jones. 
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/07/climate-change-killing-bumblebees

Creedo Action.  Tell the EPA:  Ban bee killing pesticides
http://act.credoaction.com/sign/epa_neonics_bees?sp_ref=171065570.4.147811.f.465440.2&referring_akid=.9285513.P59K_8&source=fb_share_sp

Genevieve. (May 16, 2010).  Honeybee love:  Keeping honeybees safe while using pesticides.  North Coast Gardening - Gardening in the Pacific Northwest.
http://northcoastgardening.com/2010/05/honeybee-safe-pesticides/

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Adopt a Soldier

It's the end of the year and I find myself wondering what contributions I want to make for the New Year. Several years ago I received a shocking letter from a man in the military.  He talked "being blown up" more than once, and he talked about it with the same tone as if he was talking about a trip to the grocery store.

I'm against war and violence, but yet, I see these men and women as heroes- not because they are fighting a war, but because they keep others from being forced to fight.  I truly believe if it was not for the many men and women who voluntarily join the military, the draft would come back.  I'm so happy that no one in America is forced to fight against their will.

Yet, so many of our men and women get hurt- physically and emotionally.  Some lose their homes.  Some lose their personalities.  Some lose their personal connection with the world.  I think it's really important to support these people who have courage beyond belief.

Adopt a Soldier programs allow civilians to provide friendly support to people in the military through letters and care packages on an ongoing basis.  Adopt a US Soldier and Soldier's Angels adoption program both allow civilians  to provide emotional support to soldiers who are overseas and far away from home.  Soldier's Angels also has many other programs that allow civilians to emotionally support a variety of people:  veterans who have come back to the US but are injured, the families of soldiers, and caregivers of men and women who were injured in a war.




Welcome and Thanks

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the blog!  As each day is a chance to renew oneself, so is the beginning of a new blog.  First of all, I would like to thank all of the people who visited the old blog.  I was using stats from a few different companies.  All of the companies except one pretty much said the same thing.  According to one particular company, thousands of people from all over the world were coming to blog.  I was so happy, but confused that the other stat companies did not report that.  When I found out thousands of people turned out to be bots, I was very disappointed...so disappointed that I forgot about the actual people who actually did come to the blog, and they too were from different parts of the world.

So thanks to all who came to the old blog, and I welcome everyone to the new blog!!  This blog is different from the old one.  Some of the information pages (non-blog entry pages) have been taken out and several of them have been transferred to my new website.  Entries will be shorter, and in addition to be educationally driven like the last one, I will let my emotions come into play sometimes.  My blogs are always written from the heart, and I plan to show a little more of that this time around.

Peace,

Sharon Lee Hudson