Monday, April 21, 2008

The Todd and Malaria Post: An Update and Re-write

I feel convicted about my earlier post concerning Todd’s bout with malaria, and malaria in general. First of all, I made light of what it would mean to Todd: “Down a couple of pills for a few days and we’re done”. Todd is one tough guy, and he is no whiner. But malaria is malaria, and it is quite debilitating. Moreover, it greatly compromises the immune system so it is not at all surprising that Todd now has a nasty respiratory thing going. Of the Brogdens’ four cases of malaria, three resulted in some sort of a companion, opportunistic malady. Some folks who know and really love Todd (to know Todd IS to love him) have been reading this blog, so I gotta say that he is fine, or rather, I am sure that he will be fine. (He is on his feet now and came to work today.) But I was wrong and insensitive when I made light of his malaria in my earlier post. Please continue to pray for Todd’s speedy and full recovery.

Secondly, I blathered a lot of general statements when I could and should have done a little research and given you some hard facts, which come from the July 2007 cover story of National Geographic and The Skeptic’s Guide To Global Poverty (I highly recommend both):

Each year nearly ½ BILLION people get malaria.

1 to 3 million of them die.

90% of them are in Africa, and most are under the age of 5.

3,000 children die of malaria every day in Africa, that’s one child every 30 seconds.

Malaria is most certainly treatable and survivable.

We eradicated malaria from the U.S., primarily by the use of DDT, and then joined in a world ban on DDT. (I'm good! So what's the problem?!?) Without denying that DDT was horribly over used and abused on farm crops, many acknowledge that tens of millions of children have died as a result of its outright ban (which has now been partially lifted).

Some scientists believe that of all the people who have EVER lived (and died) in ALL OF HISTORY, 50% died of malaria.

Thirdly, and lastly, Tommy sincerely asked whether I had done any research to identify a trustworthy organization to which he (we) could donate toward the distribution of malaria medication and ITNs . I was sorry to confess that I had not, but I have now discovered Malaria No More at Check them out for yourself. Perhaps you could join me in further research. I must also acknowledge that the problem has recently drawn great attention. The Gates Foundation has dedicated many millions of dollars to research, eradication and treatment. Also, in 2006 President Bush launched the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) to wipe out malaria. You can use Google and Wikipedia to see how these efforts are going.