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