Growing up in Michigan, surrounded by water, summer meant a lot of things — going to the beach, spending time at my grandparents’ cottage, swimming in our backyard pool. We spent a lot of time in and around water, which naturally meant we also spent a lot of time around mosquitoes.
As a kid, I remember zealously spraying myself with bug spray once I was done swimming. Bug zappers and citronella candles were key tools in our battle. If the mosquitoes did get you, arms and legs would be polka-dotted with bright pink calamine lotion.
For us, mosquitoes were a nuisance, itchy when they bit us and buzzing annoyingly as they tried.
Mosquitoes: Top Child Killer
But for millions, mosquitoes are killers, carrying the deadly virus that causes malaria and killing more than 650,000 people every year, mostly children. In fact, 86 percent of the annual malaria deaths are children under 5, with a child dying about every minute from a disease that we know how to prevent.
Sadly, even though it only takes the proper use of a $6 insecticide-treated bed net to prevent the bite of a mosquito, many children do not have access to this simple, inexpensive life-saver.
Winning the Battle with Bed Nets
World Vision is working to change this in countries like Zambia, where in partnership with the United States government, business, and private donors, we have worked to distribute bed nets to millions of families.
As you saw in the video above, a bed net can be the difference between life and death for a child and the difference between a mother in despair and mother filled with hope for the future of her children.
What You Can Do
As we recognize World Malaria Day this week on April 25, let’s renew our commitment to ending malaria once and for all and ensure that this is not a killer of children when it does not have to be.
Let’s make the dream of a malaria-free world a reality by investing the time and resources it will take to reach every child.
Please take a moment and ask Congress [this action has expired] to support funding for the international affairs budget that will help save children from diseases we can prevent.
Malaria is not about not knowing what to do; it is simply an issue of reaching everyone in need.
For the cost of a $6 bug spray can, you can save a child’s life. Act now. [this action has expired]