by: Rep. John Boozman, R-AR, 3rd District
Every day, we are able to sit in our backyards without having to worry about whether the mosquito that bit us is infected with Malaria. However, for millions of Africans, that is a dream. We are working hard to make that dream a reality.
Malaria is a parasitic disease that causes more than one million deaths each year. Each day, nearly 3,000 African children die as a result of Malaria. That is about one child every 30 seconds. In fact, by the time you finish reading this, another child will have died from Malaria. This is an astonishing and inexcusable statistic, especially considering the fact that Malaria is preventable and treatment costs only a few dollars.
As Chairman and Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, I have made several trips to Africa and seen the devastating affects of Malaria on the poor and the young. With the advancements we have made in medicine, there is no reason for Malaria to infect millions of people in 106 countries. Even so, the impact of the disease on health care budgets and economies in Africa is staggering. In fact, health officials in Africa spend 40 percent of their health care budgets on Malaria in hopes of educating, preventing, and treating the disease. In addition, the 250 million people who become sick and suffer from symptoms, such as fever and headache, are not able to work or go to school. As a result, healthy family members are forced to leave work to care for their ill relatives and more than $12 billion in productivity and resources are lost.
Preventative measures, such as spraying homes with insecticide and sleeping under insecticide-treated nets, are cost-effective ways to reduce the transmission of Malaria. We have seen the success of these measures both in Ethiopia and Zanzibar. In Ethiopia, cases of Malaria fell 60 percent and deaths decreased by 51 percent in two years time. In Zanzibar, Malaria in school children was reduced from 60 percent to about one percent. These are excellent results, and we must to use this momentum to build on our progress.
Members of Congress are taking steps, like organizing the Congressional Malaria Caucus, in hopes of raising awareness on this issue in the international community. In addition, non-governmental organizations and foundations, such as United Against Malaria, are taking advantage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by teaming up with soccer stars and celebrities to help fight this disease. If we continue our work and do not lose focus, our goal of reducing the number of deaths resulting from the disease to zero by 2015 is attainable.
We all must recognize our role in the battle against Malaria, and we must work to stop this tragedy from continuing. I am confident that Members of Congress, organizations, and people around the globe will answer the call and commit to saving lives.
Congressman John Boozman, is in his fifth term representing the Third District of Arkansas in the United States House of Representatives. Rep. Boozman is a co-chair of the Congressional Malaria Caucus, which has served as a bipartisan platform to raise awareness of the United States and the international communitys fight against the malaria epidemic and now NTDs. It supports the distribution of vital malaria interventions including bed nets and effective medications, new research investments, and the funding of bi- and multi-lateral programs including the Presidents Malaria Initiative, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It also supports investment in control and elimination strategies of the seven most common NTDs and research and development to tackle the other non-tool-ready diseases. There are currently 60 members of the Caucus.
April 23rd, 2010
The Global Network spent last weekend surrounded by inspiring students making real commitments to change their communities and the world around them. The 3rd Annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting, held in Miami, brought more than 1500 students, national youth organizations, and university officials together to discuss solutions to pressing global issues. In the Opening Plenary Session, President Clinton highlighted commitments from some of last years student rock stars, including Sam Adelsburg, Founder of LendforPeace.org, a micro finance initiative for the Middle East, and Robyn Allen, an MIT student who founded the Vehicle Design Summit, a student-led program working to contribute a new mode for education, innovation and inspiration through transportation design. The discussion was followed by a panel on igniting the social imagination which featured leaders from the government, academic, and non-profit sectors.
Global Network team member Erin Finucane at CGI-U
I had the good fortune to be invited to participate as a public health facilitator where I led student table discussions around advocacy and media. After a training that went late into the evening on Friday, we got started bright and early Saturday morning. What impressed me most about the table discussions was the commitment and passion of all of the student participants who not only had brilliant ideas, but the dedication to follow them through. Selfishly, it was also inspiring to hear a number of students connect their projects (varying around peace, water and sanitation, and other global issues) to the control and elimination of NTDs. Id be remiss if I neglected to mention that one of my favorite moments was when a Stanford student ran up to me and said, I love parasites!
CGI-U brought students together from over 70 countries and all 50 states and I am confident that their impact will reach even further. More than anything, last weekend reinforced for me the critical role that students play in advocacy work. Whether addressing NTDs or other international crises, the future of these critical issues is in their hands. Thankfully, the solutions are, as well.
April 23rd, 2010
Tomorrow, April 24, 2010, marks the 50th anniversary of Sabin Sunday—a campaign to vaccinate Cincinnati-area children with the world’s first oral live-virus polio vaccine. The successful campaign led to the oral live-virus polio vaccine’s licensure and distribution in the United States, and the eradication of polio from the Americas and most of the world.
Dr. Albert B. Sabin developed the vaccine as a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine and a member of the research staff at Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation. Ms. Heloisa Sabin, widow of the late Dr. Sabin; and Philip Russell, Sabin Founding President and current trustee, will be on hand at the UC Medical Campus this afternoon to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sabin Sunday.
The Sabin Vaccine Institute is founded on the legacy and global vision of Dr. Sabin who not only dedicated his entire professional career to the elimination of human suffering though his groundbreaking medical advances, but also waged a tireless campaign against poverty and ignorance throughout his lifetime.