Every 60 seconds, malaria claims another victim. A simple bug net can prevent this from happening.
In an effort to help alleviate this preventable disease, the First United Methodist Church in Newton will host an “Imagine No Malaria” pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday to help those who cannot afford nets.
“Some are doing suppers, but they are doing it with the pancake thing,” retired United Methodist Pastor Larry Pauley said.
The church will be joining more than 100 other United Methodist Churches in raising funds for the cause.
“Our whole purpose is our whole denomination is trying to eliminate malaria in South Africa, and the only way we can do that is by purchasing nets for children — ages 6 and under — because they are the ones susceptible to malaria,” Pauley said. “We are trying to provide every family with a net to do that. We are trying, by 2015, to have provided nets in South Africa for those who need it.”
He also said there was a slight scheduling concern.
“We chose the morning because that day is prom night,” Pauley said. “Everyone else is going out that day, so we chose to get it out of the way.”
According to the Center for Disease Control’s website, 3.3 billion people — half the world’s population — live in areas at risk of malaria transmission. This area covers 106 countries and territories.
The website went on to say in 2010, malaria caused an estimated 216 million clinical episodes and 655,000 deaths. An estimated 91 percent of deaths in 2010 were in the African Region, followed by 6 percent in the South-East Asian Region and 3 percent in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. About 86 percent of deaths globally were among children.
The CDC also said Africa is the most affected due to a combination of factors, such as harboring a very efficient mosquito, which is responsible for high transmission; having a predominant parasite species, which is the species that is most likely to cause severe malaria; having local weather conditions that often allows the transmission to occur year-round; and having scarce resources and socioeconomic instability causing the hindering of efficient malaria control activities.
Another United Methodist representative said each $10 buys one net and saves one or more lives. To date, 54,000 lives have been saved.
According to www.imaginenomalaria.org, United Methodist Church has nearly 200 years experience working against malaria in Africa.
The website also said the church is working hard to reach out to those who need it most through education and training, including going door-to-door showing people how to properly install a bug net.
“We are excited about trying to help families in need and to save the children. One hundred percent of all the money donated will go to buying nets,” Pauley said.
The breakfast will be in the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 210 N. Second Ave. E. Breakfast menu items include pancakes, eggs, sausage and drinks.
Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.