Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. When an infected mosquito bites a person, the parasite enters the body and settles in the liver, where it multiplies before re-entering the bloodstream and attacking the victim’s red blood cells. The first symptoms of malaria usually start within 7-10 days of the mosquito bite with high fever, headache, chills, joint pain, and nausea. If left untreated for as little as 24 hours, symptoms can advance to organ failure and death. The vast majority of cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and nearly 90 percent of malaria’s victims are children under the age of 5 and pregnant women.

But we have great reason to hope. Malaria is preventable, treatable, and beatable. Imagine No Malaria uses a comprehensive approach to fight malaria with four main objectives:

Prevention

Imagine No Malaria campaign prevention iconAn insecticide-treated bed net is still considered to be the most effective preventative tool for fighting malaria. Imagine No Malaria has distributed over 2.3 million bed nets in just the last six years. Other important preventative measures supported by Imagine No Malaria include improving sanitation and draining standing water where the mosquitos can breed.

Education

Imagine No Malaria campaign prevention iconIt’s not enough to give out bed nets if people don’t know how or why they should use them. Imagine No Malaria has trained over 11,600 volunteer health workers to help educate their communities about the importance of using bed nets, as well as how to detect symptoms of malaria. After net distributions in new communities, health workers go door-to-door to help people install the bed nets and to ensure the nets are being used properly. This sustainable method of involving local leadership has allowed the Imagine No Malaria message to reach millions of people across Sub-Saharan Africa with life-saving information and has contributed to the drastic reduction of the number of malaria cases in countries like Sierra Leone, Angola, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Treatment

Imagine No Malaria campaign prevention iconMalaria is not only preventable, it’s treatable. Imagine No Malaria works within the United Methodist network of over 300 churches, schools, hospitals, and health clinics to ensure these facilities have the diagnostic tests, treatment medications, and medical materials needed to save lives from this disease. In order to continue the operation of these facilities at full capacity and to expand our reach into rural communities, Imagine No Malaria also funds salaries for health care workers, improvements to infrastructure like new roads, and resources to build new health clinics.

Communication

Imagine No Malaria campaign prevention iconImagine No Malaria helps to upgrade communication networks throughout Africa by building radio stations and providing hand-crank and solar-powered radios. This ensures the life-saving messages of malaria education and prevention are reaching greater numbers of people. In a continent dominated by cell phone usage, Imagine No Malaria also invests in text-messaging notification services to reach people quickly all across Sub-Saharan Africa.