Malaria Awareness Day: American Idol Gives Back

Today is Malaria Awareness Day and tonight
American Idol Gives Back is an opportunity to contribute to ending extreme
poverty.

Today has been proclaimed Malaria Awareness Day by President Bush. It is connected to the global Africa Malaria Awareness Day. This disease claims a life every thirty seconds, and most are children under five–that’s 3,000 kids a day. More than 250,000,000 people contract malaria each year. The costs swamp developing economies and patients overwhelm already inadequate national health systems.

Malaria is easily preventable. It’s been eliminated from the U.S. but it continues to affect Africa and parts of Asia due to lack of resources and education–the results of poverty. It’s carried by mosquitos. One net hung from the ceiling and spread over a bed can save the life of a child. And the cost of nets makes them easily affordable in mass quantities. Ten dollars buys a net and the distribution costs and training to use it effectively.

Nothing But Nets is an effective distribution system for many reasons. It gets the nets to the right people–mothers–and it offers them training. But most importantly nets are distributed as part of a United Nations program to immunize children from measles. This means outreach to both mothers and their children is possible, for only pennies.

It’s a program worthy of our support and I hope today’s attention makes more people aware of ways they can combat this disease and put an end to the death of a child every thirty seconds.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing a $3 million matching grant for contributions to Nothing But Nets. The United Methodist Church is calling on its people to skip a lunch and buy a net. The Skip a Lunch program is featured on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website this morning and the Malaria No More website.
Elizabeth McKee, executive director of Nothing But Nets, provides very useful information about U.S. government support for malaria prevention. Her blog is here .

Tonight, American Idol Gives Back will offer viewers the opportunity to contribute to ending extreme poverty. In a two-night broadcast on this blockbuster program five major programs working to end extreme poverty are highlighted..

Among the highlighted efforts is Nothing But Nets. This is a partnership of the people of The United Methodist Church, the United Nations Foundation, the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares Foundation and Sports Illustrated. The broadcast is a generous programming gift by Fox and Idol, and a remarkable opportunity for us to make a difference.
An overview that caught my eye about the events of the day can be found on the website of Christian Today.

One Response to “Malaria Awareness Day: American Idol Gives Back”

  1. JANET OWEN October 19, 2008 at 7:53 pm #

    What was the name of the song that Celine Dion and Elvis Presley sang at the Idol gives back. Thanks for answering my question. Janet Owen

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