Sunday, April 25, 2010

World Malaria Day

The day passed by without my hearing a whisper that this day was dedicated to fighting malaria worldwide and particularly in my dearly beloved Sub Saharan Africa. The statistics say 1 million people die a year....what 1 million? I had better recheck the figure. It also says there is a shortfall of 50 million treated bednets, which is the best defence against the mosquito whose bite transmits the disease. The disease is particularly hazardous to infants, young children and pregnant mothers. Is anybody listening? Bed nets cost $6 a day and I'm sure if people knew where to donate they would. The buzz about Malaria Day was not deafening where I live, possibly being a Sunday and all. My attention was piqued when I saw a video circulating of an interview by scientist, malaria specialist, Dr. Opokua Ofori-Anyinam, of Glaxo Smith Kline who was my highschool classmate. Facebook brought me awareness of the news but how do we help?
Several years ago, the late Stephen Alumenda of Zimbabwe and I wrote four stories for a MacMillan Discovery Readers book entitled MALARIA, edited by Jean Conteh. My hope was that the old and the new stories would bring the facts of malaria, self help and awareness to elementary students. But while the buzz of swne flu was incessant and deafening throughout the winter months, barely a peep was heard from our global village symbolized by facebook, where the chatter never ceases.

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