5 Ways You Can Keep Children from Getting Malaria

During my recent trip to Africa, I contracted malaria. I’d had it before as a child, but my recollection of what it was like was very faint.

This time it started with a nearly uncontrollable cough that had me gasping for oxygen. At times I felt fine, but moments later I would be completely weak and could barely move. It felt as if my life force had been co-opted and was slowly draining from my body.

My mother, thankfully, has been a nurse for four decades, and caught on to the symptoms by early morning, and sent someone to fetch a curative dose of the medication for me.

Unfortunately, I still couldn’t eat, and on top of that, the medication made me dizzy – and we later found out, reacted badly with the medication I’ve been taking for nerve damage.

Even with the cure, it’s a rough disease to recover from – it took weeks to get back to a regular schedule. And I’m still recovering from the impact the medication had on my existing health problem.

To this day, my own suffering is a sidebar.

It is a struggle to write about this through the tears that come with the memory of seeing my nephew suffer through this horrible disease. At least I could talk and ask for help. No child should ever feel the way I felt, ever.

And yet, every 30 seconds a child dies from this completely preventable disease.

I’m blessed to have been born to a privileged class both here in America, and to the African family I am descended from abroad. When in Lagos, I wanted for nothing once the power issue was resolved. When I was sick, the medication was provided, accessible and available, at what for us was a modest expense.

Most people are not so lucky.

You can help though, even if you can’t spare a dime to donate.

1- You Can Raise Awareness

  • Add hashtag(s) #endmalaria, #malaria, #malariadayand/or #worldmalariaday to your tweets and the hastags will trigger the addition of clickable mosquito icons to the tweet that will take you to hope140.org/endmalaria

The Case Foundation will be matching every ten dollar donation now through April 27 up to $25,000.

2- You Can Make a Donation

So what can Social Citizens do to show their support and become social media envoys among their own networks? Please visit hope140.org/endmalaria and:

  • Tweet this message to make a $10 donation to Malaria No More: Every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. Nets #endmalaria. So do retweets. RT2Give $10 http://rt2give.com/t/425

    ( If you already have an account through Twitpay, you’ll receive a direct message from @Twitpay asking for confirmation. If you don’t have an account, @Twitpay will send you an @reply message with simple instructions on how to enroll).

  • Text ‘NET’ to 85944 to make a $10 donation to Malaria No More. (A $10 donation will be charged to your mobile phone bill. Messaging and data rates may apply)

3- You Can Help People Get Mosquito Nets – Whether You Can Personally Donate or Not

4- You Can Volunteer Your Services or Labor

5- You Can Create an Event (Like a Fund-Raiser)