GET THE FACTS
About 3.3 billion people – half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria. This leads to about 250 million cases of malaria every year, and nearly one million deaths.
Hitting Africa the hardest, malaria is one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 in the developing world, resulting in approximately 750,000 child deaths per year. That’s one child dying from malaria every 42 seconds.
Pregnant mothers and babies are particularly vulnerable. Every year, malaria is responsible for as many as 10,000 maternal deaths and results in maternal anemia, spontaneous abortions, neonatal deaths, and low birth-weight babies.
Malaria has a significant economic impact. Malaria seriously affects Africa’s economy, costing $12 billion every year in lost economic productivity and perpetuating the cycle of poverty. It could be controlled for a fraction of that amount.
Malaria and AIDS intersect. In 2007, malaria and AIDS together took more than 3 million lives. And there is increasing evidence that where they occur together, malaria and HIV infections interact.
Malaria is an injustice. Although it was eradicated in the United States 60 years ago, malaria is still a leading cause of death for children around the world. Malaria afflicts primarily the poorest populations who tend to live in malaria-prone areas and lack access prevention and treatment tools. Poor nutrition makes children and adults even more vulnerable. According to the World Food Programme, 57 percent of malaria deaths are compounded by under-nutrition.
How Is This Massive Problem Being Addressed?
One of the best ways to prevent malaria is through the use of bed nets, which help to curb the biting of infected mosquitoes. Additionally, the World Health Organization is working on various drug therapies, and indoor insecticide spraying to help control the spread of these deadly mosquitoes.
World Vision is working to provide bed nets for 63 of the 109 countries where malaria is endemic. These bed nets are an effective way to prevent mosquito bites. In sub-Saharan Africa, the use of insecticide-treated bed nets could potentially prevent 1 million child deaths. Studies show that when villagers sleep under a treated net, malaria incidence is reduced up to 50-60 percent. They are also inexpensive! They cost less than $10 and can last up to four years.
For more information on what you can do to help – including how to purchase life-saving bed nets, which will then be sent to the affected areas—please click here to visit the Take Action page.