Posts Tagged ‘Malaria No More’

End Malaria Day

It is pretty amazing that a disease that wreaks so much havoc across wide stretches of our planet is actually prevented with relative ease. A bug net. A freaking bug net is all it takes to save life after life after life. Mosquitoes may be just a summertime evening nuisance for you, but in many regions, quite notably across Africa, their stinging little proboscises (or is it probosci?) are loaded with contagion. Malaria, killer of so many, is quite efficiently passed by mosquito bites. So efficiently, that a child dies from the disease every 45 seconds. It is why your doctor prescribes the weird dream/nightmare inducing anti-malarial drugs when you travel to certain regions, but of course those drugs are cost-prohibitive for most people in the world. Your Deep Woods Off or Skin So Soft bug spray is also the repellent of the wealthy…but a simple physical barrier…a net for sleeping, makes numbers of malaria cases plummet in communities that have them. The World Health Organization has shown a 10% decrease from last year in malaria deaths in African regions that are starting to get nets.

Today is End Malaria Day. Organizations like Malaria No More and Nothing But Nets are on the ground, distributing sleeping nets in threatened communities around the world. You don’t need to pack your bags to go hand out nets and educate locals about how to properly use them to prevent mosquito bites, but you really do want to support this work. It is immediate and tangible. On the day a family gets a net or nets for their home/hut/shelter…THAT NIGHT, when they go to sleep under their new net…they are protected in a way they never were before. It is so simple, so “actionable” that there is really no reason not to be part of the solution. End Malaria: The Book is coming out today–in it, 62 of today’s sharpest minds write essays of inspiration and motivation. For every copy sold, twenty bucks goes directly to anti-malaria organizations. (The Kindle edition only costs $20 so every penny is donated. The paperback is $25). You give a few bucks…you get inspiration for your own day-to-day life…you save lives, directly and demonstrably. There’s really no lose here.

Twitter Nets

I have to say, I’m kind of driven up a wall by Twitter. As soon as I say that I’m sure I’ll be a Twittering fool in the blink of an eye, but thus far it has seemed to me like all the parts of Facebook that I don’t like. I truly don’t care what my friends or followers or followees had for breakfast or thought of the outfit Lady Gaga wore on the red carpet.

There are, however, some amazing things that have come of the Twitter Revolution. Last year, for World Malaria Day, Ashton Kutcher and CNN were in a furious race to see who could first get a million followers on the social networking site. Ashton won, and to celebrate his victory over the media giant network, he vowed to send 10,000 mosquito nets, via Malaria No More, to Africa to fight the disease. Those nets were sent and have now all been distributed, with plenty of others. Ashton’s Twitter posting became the world’s most re-tweeted message on World Malaria Day, and resulted in many others making direct donations, so that the total number of “Twitter Nets” was 89,724! Other high-profile Tweeters got involved: Oprah, Anderson Cooper, Sean Diddy Combs, and Ryan Seacrest, among others.

Who, in your network of friends, is willing to join you in making a difference in the world?