Fighting A Deadly Foe


If the world is to eliminate malaria by 2015 as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for, it will require a massive, systematic effort. No single agency or group can do it alone. And independent acts of compassion, while commendable, must be integrated into a systematic plan of prevention, region by region, country by country.

The malaria parasite is a wily foe. In the 1950s it appeared to be all but eliminated, and the world let up on a global plan only to have the parasite come roaring back with a vengeance. We can’t allow this to happen again. Today the parasite is resistant to the medicines used in the ’50s and stronger than ever in some areas.

I’m in Geneva with Bishop Tom Bickerton and the Rev. Gary Henderson, both with The United Methodist Church’s Global Health Initiative, Shannon Trilli of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, two colleagues from Lutheran World Relief and Michael Pajonk of the United Nations Foundation. We’re meeting with leaders of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It’s exciting.

We’ll be talking about how the efforts by United Methodists and Lutherans to end malaria interconnect with the Global Fund. The meeting has been two years in the making. I’m told it’s the first meeting of its kind.

It’s an outcome of the Global Health Initiative approved by General Conference. I’ll have more to say after we begin our two days of meetings.

3 Responses to “Fighting A Deadly Foe”

  1. Andrew Kerber July 21, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    We have known for 100 years how to eliminate malaria. We have to begin the manufacture and use of DDT to eliminate the mosquito that carries malaria. That is the solution that worked in the canal zone (and there are still plenty of mosquitos in the canal zone by the way), and it is the only proven solution.

  2. Poonam July 21, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    Glad to see it pushing forward. I think it is also a matter of education.

  3. Amelia July 22, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    Thank you for your commitment and dedication in partnering with others to bring a solution. I look forward to following the proceedings of this first meeting. ~Amelia Tucker-Shaw

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