A few weeks ago, Rebecca (far right, in the blue jumper dress) and her friends posed for this picture. Three days later, she got a headache. The next day, she died. That is how fast malaria robs children of their lives.
There are places in the world where getting a tiny mosquito bite is a matter of life and death. Families across Zambia are constantly burdened with the task of finding ways to protect their children from a deadly, but preventable disease- malaria.
Malaria is preventable, treatable and curable. Yet, it continues to have a devastating impact across Africa. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transported by mosquitoes and spread to humans through the mosquito’s bites.
David, a teacher at one of African Vision of Hope’s schools, explains just how bad malaria can be for families and communities. David’s students experience fevers and severe headaches four or five times a year from malaria. “They miss classes,” David says. “One boy was trying to write his exams and fainted. They can’t graduate if they are not well. The loss of potential in this village is enormous.” Not only loss of potential, but the loss of life is enormous. Malaria is one of the leading causes of preventable death in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is where it is most prevalent. Every month, 20,000 children die of malaria. Children like Rebecca, whose friends are heartbroken and whose mother is distraught that her daughter’s life was taken so suddenly. Within a few days, she went from a smiling first-grader, giggling and wrapping her arms around her friends, to deathly ill.
Families in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of this preventable disease 365 days a year, not just on World Malaria Day. So, what can we do to help? One way is through education. When children and families are educated on the symptoms of malaria, they can seek medical care and advocate for themselves. Education brings a voice to those who no one will listen to. We’re committed to educating and equipping families with the knowledge they need to survive and thrive. This is only possible with your help.