Four years ago, one child under the age of 5 died from malaria every 30 seconds. According to End Malaria Now, today it is every 60 seconds.
Malaria is highly concentrated in Africa and hits the poorest communities around the world hardest. However, the disease affects all walks of life. Even the famous African footballer Didier Drogba once had malaria.
According to End Malaria Now, the mosquito-borne disease causes almost half a million deaths per year in Africa.
It may not be a serious issue from the vantage point of a wealthy western civilization. As a result, most people in the United States are not fully aware how immensely the disease is affecting the globe.
End Malaria Now has reached out to the Fullerton College community for over a year now and has received a positive response.
“Everyone at the campus likes what we are doing and wants to help the cause. They donate to us again and again,” said Kierra Gibson, assistant manager and community outreach specialist.
Gibson further explained that countless faculty and students have taken the time to listen to the volunteers and donated countless times throughout the year.
“Our goal for the upcoming year is to donate over 20,000 nets for Sierra Leone and Rwanda,” said Gibson.
A $20 contribution provides a long-lasting insecticide treated bed net to the people most affected by malaria.
Aside from donations, individuals can also purchase necklaces, bracelets and key chains to support the organization.
End Malaria Now has fought for over nine years to help those affected. Their main focus is to raise awareness and prevent the epidemic spread of malaria.
It all starts with a single bite from a female mosquito. The bite injects young forms of parasites into the bloodstream. The bite causes the body to weaken, and if not treated, it will quickly lead to death.
“Male mosquitos don’t bite people only females do. The mosquito’s breeding starts with dirty water, where malaria is harbored and latches onto the female mosquito,” Gibson added.
Since providing nets to the people of Africa, malaria transmission and child fatalities have gone down 20 percent.
This necessary tool can effectively cut the mosquito population as much as 90 percent.
“I have been to different homes, schools, and festivals to let the people know what they are facing,” said Gibson. “It’s a serious issue that has to be addressed to the public.”
The organization shows people how to properly set up the nets around their homes and schools, as well as explains the steps to properly wash the nets without damaging the coat of insecticide.
The nets which last five to seven years have been winning the war against malaria.
When asked about why she works with End Malaria now Gibson replied, “I have always wanted to help kids in Africa, it seemed malaria was easily preventable.”
For more information about how to donate visit their website.