World Malaria Day

Most of you are aware that Tracy and I lived in West Africa for a year. During my time there I became deathly ill from Malaria. In fact, at one point the doctor told me I was “about 3 hours away from death”. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life.

Beyond what Malaria meant to me personally, it is still devastating people around the world, particularly in Africa where 59% of the world’s cases are reported. I watched so many of our friends experience great pain and even death due to the existence of Malaria.

Today is designated as World Malaria Day. I would encourage to read this information sheet in order to be more aware of what Malaria is doing around the world.

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

4 thoughts on “World Malaria Day

  1. Great strides have been made in many places in the fight against malaria, a disease that kills a million people, most of them children, every year. That’s what World Malaria Day is all about. It draws attention to the many successful ways the war against malaria is being waged, mainly through the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets and other relatively low-tech preventive measures. Unfortunately, children in the Democratic Republic of Congo remain highly vulnerable.

    According to the World Health Organization, less than 1% of DRC children under five years of age sleep under protective nets. This results in most of them suffering six to ten malaria-related fever incidents per year. The disease also accounts for 45% of childhood mortality, which overall runs to 20%. In short, malaria kills nearly one in ten children in the Congo every year.

    In Heart of Diamonds, my novel of the Congo, I explore how continuous armed conflict in the country is responsible for many of these deaths. Medical supplies can’t be distributed when roads, railroads, and airstrips have been destroyed. Treatment can’t be delivered by medical personnel who have been chased from their clinics and hospitals. People driven from their homes, plagued by malnutrition, inadequate shelter, and lack of sanitary facilities are weak and less capable of warding off disease. War creates a breeding ground for death by malaria just as surely as swamps full of stagnant water breed anopheles mosquitoes.

    Although the intensity of conflict has decreased since the truce of 2003 and democratic elections of 2006, millions of displaced persons still struggle to survive and hot spots remain in the eastern and western provinces. Collapsed infrastructure has severely weakened the health system in the DRC, and the strengthening process is a slow one.

    The DRC, unfortunately, has little to celebrate this World Malaria Day.

  2. Our mission trip this year has changed directions and we are now heading to the islands of Panama to the Kuna Indians. They speak Spanish. We will be island hopping by boat for 8 full days of Gospel ministry. I just found out we will be sleeping in mud huts in hammocks underneath of mosquito nets which are to help protect us from not just mosquitoes, but bats who like to attack while you are sleeping. Needless to say this one will be definitely out of the comfort zone!!! I also believe we are emphatically required to take Malaria pills before, during, and after our mission there. I sure hope those pills work! This trip will be at the end of July. We’ll be taken students with us as usual. Would you pray that the Gospel goes forth there in those villages?

  3. Having suffered from Malaria in Viet Nam, Micah, I know how you suffered and know how quickly you can be close to death.

    We have missionaries in Africa who state that in most of Africa that as bad as AIDS is, that malaria is still killing more. Nets are important. The meds wll help. But the missionaries mentioned still caught it and have to constantly watch their health for relapses. It is a deadly disease about which very little is being done.

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