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)