Our mission focus during Advent Conspiracy will be the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (www.lutheranmalaria.org). We will have special offerings during Advent for the benefit of this Initiative.
What Is The Lutheran Malaria Initiative?
The Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) is an unprecedented and historic partnership of Lutheran World Relief and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Our goal is to mobilize U.S. Lutherans to raise awareness of malaria and its daily impact on the lives of people in Africa and to raise $45 million in the global effort to help end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. LMI is made possible through support
from the United Nations Foundation. Building on the success and strength of our networks already in place, the mission in Africa is straightforward: to teach people to recognize the symptoms of malaria, promote prevention and provide treatment and prevention resources.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite. It is transmitted to people through the bites of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria. There are more than 200 million cases each year and of those infected, nearly a million die. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
Christ’s example of unconditional mercy forms our Lutheran response to malaria. We are called to serve the vulnerable and to respond with love, care and help to those suffering among us. Lutherans have a storied history of helping people in need around the world. By combining proven field strategies, expertise and resources, LMI brings together a worldwide network of Lutheran partner churches,
missionaries and service providers in the fight against malaria.
Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria, a disease that is both preventable and treatable. There is
global momentum to fight malaria. The will is present. The knowledge of how to prevent and treat malaria is present. It is now our time to be present to make a difference in the lives of millions of people. Simple steps to prevent, treat and contain the disease are inexpensive and effective. Now is the time to join in the fight against malaria.
How Can I Help?
- PRAY for those suffering from malaria and for those working to prevent, treat and contain the disease.
- LEARN more about malaria and then tell everyone you know—family, friends, your congregation and community.
- GET INVOLVED by inspiring and inviting people to participate. Think about your congregation, school, ministry, family and friends and organize a fundraiser.
- GIVE A GIFT to LMI. Your generosity will enable us to respond and serve our brothers and sisters in Africa.
How is the Initiative going so far?
To date, LMI has reached 2.7 million people through projects in Tanzania, Mali, Uganda, and Kenya.
For instance, More than 700 Health workers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) have
been trained to diagnose and treat malaria. Use of insecticide treated bed nets increased from 55% to 87% over three years (within the 13 dioceses where LMI works) More than 300,000 children have
been educated on ways to prevent malaria, how to recognize symptoms and when to seek treatment.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite. It is transmitted only through the bites of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Once in the human body, these parasites migrate to the liver where they mature and multiply, enter the bloodstream and then infect red blood cells. From there, the parasites rupture and infect more red blood cells. The first symptoms of malaria usually occur between 10 and 15 days after infection and include fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting—symptoms similar to a common flu virus.
Unfortunately, if left untreated, malaria quickly becomes life-threatening. More red blood cells are destroyed, causing anemia and disrupting blood supply to vital organs, which can cause extremely high fevers, seizures, coma or death.
Who is at risk?
Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 200 million cases of malaria each year and of those infected, nearly a million die. While mosquitoes bite everyone, children, pregnant women, and their unborn babies are most vulnerable because of weakened or insufficient immune systems. In many parts of Africa, malaria remains the leading cause of death for children under 5—the disease takes the life of a child every 60 seconds.
How does Malaria affect Africa?
Malaria, like so many other diseases, disproportionately affects people living in poverty-stricken areas. It is part of a cruel cycle, preventing people from working their way out of poverty because they are too weak to earn an income and their children too sick to attend school. The Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria estimates that malaria costs Africa $12 billion a year in lost productivity.
How are Lutherans Helping to Fight Malaria?
The Lutheran Malaria Initiative is part of a global focus to help end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Malaria is preventable and treatable, but early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Key elements in the fight against malaria include providing education and improving access to prevention tools, treatment facilities and medical supplies. Learn more about malaria and support the Lutheran Malaria Initiative at lutheranmalaria.org
Lutheran Malaria Initiative is being used by God to make a big difference! Now is our time to get involved!