The actor George Clooney contracted malaria while visiting Sudan earlier this month. Ladies, please don’t fret as he has already beaten the disease! Phew! That was close. Global news agencies around the world can now relax…the crisis has passed. “I guess the mosquito in Juba looked at me and thought I was the bar,” Clooney said.
The crisis has passed for George. Not so for the 700,000 children who will die from malaria every year. While prevention is achievable to reduce this disease considerably, its high prevalence continues.
In a statement, Clooney said his recovery “illustrates how with proper medication, the most lethal condition in Africa, can be reduced to bad ten days instead of a death sentence.” So easy to say…so difficult to achieve.
All the more tragic that the world really cares when George Clooney contracts an illness. “With proper medication” it is resolved. Let me ask you: do we stop caring once George is back on his feet and joking around about this disease?
What is the real tragedy here?
Today with three days to go, the focus is on Millennium Development Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Disease. The United Nations has set three targets for this Millennium Development Goal:
- Halt and begin to reverse, by 2015, the spread of HIV/AIDS
- Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
- Halt and begin to reverse, by 2015, the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
One of the Outcomes for the 10 City Bridge Run is to invest $24,000 in anti-malaria technology through the distribution of 10,000 mosquito nets. The ability to create leverage in order to achieve this will only come with the participation of sponsorship. Only with sponsorship is it possible to achieve the 10 City Bridge Run.
Remarks from the UN are sobering and need no further explanation. This is a serious and tragic situation through the prevalence of these infectious diseases.
- Every day over 7,400 people are infected with HIV and 5,500 die from AIDS- related illnesses. HIV remains the leading cause of death among reproductive-age women worldwide.
- An estimated 33.4 million people were living with HIV in 2008, two thirds of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Access to HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries increased ten-fold over a span of just five years.
- Malaria kills a child in the world every 45 seconds. Close to 90 per cent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, where it accounts for a fifth of childhood mortality.
- 1.8 million people died from tuberculosis in 2008, about 500,000 of whom were HIV-positive.