White House Summit on Malaria

Today the White House is hosting a Summit on

Today President Bush and first lady Laura Bush are hosting a White House Summit on Malaria. Many non-profit and international agencies will attend. General Secretary Randy Day, head of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church will represent the presence of The People of The United Methodist Church. The summit is valuable because it will call attention to a challenge that can be met–eliminating this disease.

There is little question that death by malaria can be significantly reduced, if not eliminated, by providing bed nets, draining standing water, and using insecticides carefully in malaria-prone areas. Even in resort areas where tourists go to see wildlife in South Africa–where the conditions are most favorable for mosquitos–malaria has been eliminated. It is not for lack of knowledge, tools or medications that this disease continues to claim a child every thirty seconds. It is lack of commitment.

But I believe when people hear the startling facts–500 million persons infected annually, the death of a child under age 5 every thirty seconds–they care and they respond. My hope is that this summit is one more call to awareness, but I hope it does more. I hope it sparks a global movement to eradicate poverty, the underlying cause of diseases that could be prevented if the international community would apply resources to improve the quality of life for everyone, and stamp out preventable killer diseases. A grassroots global movement to end the killer diseases of poverty is not a visionary dream, it is a movement waiting to happen. I intend to be a part of it.

See the LA Times view on the White House Summit here.

The Boston Globe report is here.

Australian Broadcasting reports on a World Bank announcement coupled with the Summit here.

To send a net and save a life you can go to nothingbutnets.net, and you can follow the link to The United Methodist Church malaria initiative and also contribute to bed nets through the Advance for Christ and His Church.

And thanks to the TIME Global Health Blog for pointing to the link for live Internet coverage of the Summit provided by the Kaiser Foundation.

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