Imagine No Malaria 

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An African child dies of malaria every 30 45 seconds.

In 2006 the United Methodist Church was the only religious organization invited by the United Nations to participate, along with the NBA and others in the “Nothin’ But Nets” campaign.  Ten dollars would provide a mosquito net to a family that would protect them for 5 years from the devastating effects of malaria.  That was the beginning of a concerted effort by the UMC to aid in the eradication this disease from the planet.

Since that time, the UN, along with other organizations like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has continued efforts to eradicate the disease.  The United Methodist Church continues to play an active role in this quest.  And the Capital District has a key role in the continuation of this story.  On World Malaria Day in April, 2010, the churches of the Capital District had the privilege of launching the Imagine No Malaria campaign to the denomination.  On the steps of the Capital building in downtown Austin, we helped people to imagine a world in which this devastating disease no longer exists, and take the first serious steps toward that end.  Over $650,000 was raised in this district alone.

But there was more to it than just raising money.  Churches from the area sent teams to distribute the nets and provide medical care.  Tours of the affected areas were taken to raise awareness and people came back to report on the results of the campaign, as well as provide us with a better sense of what is needed and what can be done.

Since that launch, the death rate from malaria has slowed from one person every 30 seconds to one person every 45 seconds.  While this is still an unacceptable rate of death, it is tangible progress.

Our efforts continue.  In December 2010 the youth of the Capital District raised $280 to purchase nets.  We will not stop until Malaria is no longer a global health issue.  Trips to affects areas continue.  We will not stop our efforts until we have eliminated Malaria as a health threat.