In 2014, British comedian John Bishop went to Uganda to experience firsthand the destruction caused by poverty. While there, he met James, a parent who had to do what no parent should ever have to do. James had to bury his first two born sons after they died from malaria when they were little boys. Now, everyday James and his wife have to look out into their garden and see the mounds of earth with their sons underneath. James lost his two first-born sons to malaria because mosquito nets were not available to his family in Uganda, an illness that could have been cured with just a few dollars.
DoSomething.org says that “nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day.” Poverty is a server problem that plagues nearly three billion people. James is just one of thousands of parents that suffer the loss of a child to a completely preventable disease. “Every minute, a child dies of a mosquito bite,” according to the UNICEF organization. Malaria is just one of the many diseases that impact impoverished people in Africa. Malaria isn’t the first, nor the last condition, that will kill innocent children because their families are too poor to afford treatment.
We are privileged to live in an immunized world, living fruitfully and improving our lives, while, since the beginning of reading this, two children have died from Malaria. We have a choice to be here, making our lives better. The impoverished do not. With more than 3 billion people living in poverty, it is our responsibility to donate to impoverished countries in Africa to help improve health and hunger throughout Africa.
Poor nations in Africa struggle to survive because they lack basic human needs. People who live in poverty are desperate for ways to combat deadly diseases. Malaria and HIV are two of the most devastating killers to the poor in Africa. According to the CDC, “Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. Left untreated, people with malaria may develop severe complications and die.” Malaria kills a child every minute. MalariaNoMore.org estimates that this deadly disease claims the lives of over 453,000 children every year. Malaria is a disease that takes thousands of lives each year, regardless of the fact that it is completely preventable.
Besides Malaria, the HIV epidemic is still raging in African countries. In 2012, 25 million people in Africa were living with HIV with 1.2 million AIDS-related deaths, according to Avert.org. AIDS, the syndrome that is caused by the HIV virus, is an illness that alters the immune system, making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases, Medical News Today explains. Having HIV and AIDS increases the risk of contracting and dying from another disease entirely.
HIV is a serious concern, not only for the adults living with the disease but also for the children. 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV in 2012, according to UNICEF. Children under 15years old are only half as likely as adults to receive the lifesaving treatment they need. Without treatment, one-half of infants living with HIV will die before their 2nd birthday. The needy people in Africa are dying by the millions because of malaria and HIV. But there are more than just diseases that are killing the African people.
A lack of food source in Africa is leading many women and children to become malnourished. Malnutrition arises from an insufficient intake of macro- and micro- nutrients explains ActionsAgainstHunger.org. By being undernourished, there is no energy in the body to support vital organ functions, cell development, and tissue maintenance. The body begins to consume its own tissues in search of the nutrients and energy it needs to survive. Malnourished people are literally decaying in order to survive. Food insecurity in Africa threatens the lives of millions of vulnerable people. Without treatment, severely malnourished women and children would likely face imminent death. Malaria, HIV, and malnutrition are serious, pressing concerns for the people living in poverty.
These illnesses, along with many other third-world problems, are completely preventable and treatable. Equipment, education and, even just, food is needed to stop these unnecessary deaths.
James lost his two first-born sons to malaria simply because mosquito nets and treatment wasn't available to his family. Mosquito nets are the key to preventing malaria. Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets prevent malaria by creating a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when transmissions occur and can cover two people per net, according to MalariaNoMore.org. By providing the people of Sub-Sahara Africa with easy access to mosquito nets, the rate of malaria caused deaths can decline by 54% across the African region, explains the World Health Organization.
There is no cure for HIV, but the best option to help prevent the spread of HIV is through education. Many health organizations are committed to providing Africa with clinics that test for and help prevent HIV. AMREF has made it their mission goal to “increase the quality and coverage of HIV testing and counseling, treatment and prevention services.” These types of services, as well as medical treatment, help to prolong lives and subdue the disease. As well as clinics for health services, HIV and AIDS education is imperative to help stop the spread of this dangerous disease. By initiating these educational programs, the spread of HIV will be prevented by just sheer knowledge on the illness.
Ready-to-use therapeutic foods have been developed to restore vital nutrients to malnourished people. These foods come in the form of peanut-butter based pastes and biscuits that are nutrient-rich and packed with a high concentration of protein and energy, says Action Against Hunger. These foods are designed to withstand extreme climate, require no refrigeration, and are ready to serve, ensuring that essential nutrients are not lost by the time the products are consumed, according to Action Against Hunger. Therapeutic foods are the standard treatment for people suffering from malnutrition.
Unfortunately, all of these life-saving treatments are too expensive or just not in reach for the people who are living on only $2.50 a day. Money is the main barrier between life and death for people living in poverty. Yet, your charitable donations can help fund these projects and provide the African people with the help they need.
By donating to Comic Relief, an international charity, you can contribute to saving the lives of millions of desperate people. Comic Relief, a UK based charity, has been raising money for poverty in Africa since 1985. Comic Relief’s mission is to drive positive change and see a just world, free from poverty through the power of entertainment. Since 1985, Comic Relief’s most successful fundraising appeal has come in the form of their biennial telethon, Red Nose Day.
Red Nose Day’s uses humor to raise money for poverty and social injustices across Africa. With the help of celebrities, musicians, and comedians, Red Nose Day draws in the audience with comedy sketches and performances, all the while, driving home the importance of donations and how it will affect the people who desperately need it. The story mentioned at the beginning of this article was just one of the many moving films Comic Relief puts together to show the true and devastating impact poverty has on Africa.
Donating just a small amount to Comic Relief can have an immense impact on the lives of those living in poverty. By donating only $5 to Comic Relief, you will be able to feed a child suffering from malnutrition. A $30 donation can vaccinate 6 children against deadly diseases, like malaria. But for only 3 cents, your donation can provide hospitals in Africa with non-reusable syringes to help stop the spread of even more diseases. So far this year, Red Nose Day has raised a staggering £76 million. Since its inception, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion for charity, with every single pound going to people in need. Comic Relief is an organization devoted to ending poverty and seeing a better world.
With your help, we can rebuild Africa one dollar at a time. Your dollar will not only improve the lives of millions of people but also help to bring poverty to an end. The number of deaths in Africa is falling every day because of every dollar that is donated. By donating, we can see a positive change in the lives of so many people for years to come.
Impoverished people in Africa face unimaginable health and hunger problems. Malaria, HIV, and malnutrition are just three of the most impactful illnesses that kill millions of innocent people every year. These people are desperate for medical services and equipment that will help to treat these dangerous illnesses. Unfortunately, the funding gap for treatment is too large, so your donations are imperative to help prevent these illnesses.
On May 25th, Red Nose Day comes, once again, to the United States. The Red Nose Day USA telethon will be held live on NBC at 8/7c. I’m not going to ask you to go and donate today if you don’t feel so inclined. But I will ask you to watch this year’s Red Nose Day. I was moved to tears seeing firsthand the impact poverty has on innocent people in Africa. I was beyond moved by the stories of our struggling brethren to donate as much as I could. I know you will be too.
ames didn’t have a choice when his two sons died from malaria. But you do. You can make a choice to donate just a few dollars, and you can save the lives of innocent children in unfortunate circumstances.
For more information, visit rednoseday.org
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