Malaria Day: ADRA Recommits to Eliminate Disease
SILVER SPRING, Md. – On April 25, The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is renews its commitment to the fight against malaria in support of World Malaria Day, a date set aside to advocate the global movement for the elimination of malaria.
“We believe the fight against malaria can be won,” said David Dyjack, Director of Public Health for ADRA International. “In that spirit, we are utilizing our talents and resources to ensure the people we serve will thrive, reaching their full God-given potential, free from preventable diseases.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this preventable life-threatening disease, which is transmitted through bites of infected mosquitoes, claims the life of one child every 45 seconds, accounting for 20% of childhood deaths in the African continent.
To further the eradication of malaria-related deaths, ADRA uses community mobilization initiatives, which provide community leaders with training on preventable measures and techniques to achieve this goal.
ADRA and the Inter-Religious Program Against Malaria (PIRCOM) launched a grassroots level project in Mozambique in efforts to reduce malaria-related deaths by 50% within a three-year period, referred to as Together Against Malaria (TAM). TAM focused on training religious leaders in methods of prevention and treatment of malaria. With the information learned, these leaders educate members within their communities demonstrating lifesaving measures in prevention and treatment of the disease. A central theme in the training process is the importance of maintaining a clean environment, which is unfavorable to carriers of malaria.
Through the TAM project, over 27,500 religious leaders were trained and disseminated knowledge on preventable measures to nearly 2million members within their faith communities.
Additionally, ADRA participates in other simple, yet highly effective preventable measures such as mosquito net distribution. The nets act as a barrier between mosquitoes carrying the disease and the human host. According to the WHO, infected mosquitoes are known to predominantly bite between dusk and dawn. The TAM project distributed more than 20,000 mosquito nets to targeted populations, providing protection to thousands of people.
The theme for this year’s World Malaria Day is ‘Achieving Progress and Impact,’ an international effort towards eliminating all malaria deaths by 2015.