What is the mission of the ELCA Malaria Campaign?
The ELCA Malaria Campaign enables our church to join with African companion churches in the global effort to prevent, treat, and contain malaria by 2015.
What is the fund-raising goal of the ELCA Malaria Campaign?
The ELCA Malaria Campaign’s goal is to raise $15 million by 2015.
What are the education and awareness-raising goals of the campaign?
The ELCA Malaria Campaign aims to educate every ELCA member about the disease of malaria and its continuing impact on people living in poverty in Africa, especially children under five and pregnant women. The ELCA Malaria Campaign believes that once Lutherans are informed about the problem they will want to respond, to make a difference and to be part of the movement working for a solution to this situation. Awareness-raising for the ELCA Malaria Campaign will help ELCA members realize that they can make others aware of the problem of malaria in Africa, and of the ELCA Malaria Campaign’s plan for containing the number of deaths caused by malaria.
Which countries does the ELCA Malaria Campaign support?
Funds raised will benefit our Lutheran companion churches and companion organizations in eleven African countries: Angola, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
What kinds of programming does the ELCA Malaria Campaign support?
The ELCA Malaria Campaign will work with partner churches and organizations in Africa to treat and prevent malaria, to educate communities about malaria, and to build our partners’ capacity to engage in relief programs administered through other organizations.
- Our malaria treatment programs will emphasize the acquisition of proper diagnostic equipment and training for health care workers, and sufficient access to health care and anti-malarial drugs for everyone.
- Our malaria prevention programs will focus on individual and community malaria education, advocacy for access to health care, access to sanitation equipment and mobilization of resources such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets and residual spraying.
- Our malaria education programs will train and equip leaders to teach others how to recognize and seek treatment for malaria, and how to prevent malaria in their households. Educational programs will take many forms, including church events, community-based programs, educational drama and music groups, and education by village health teams.
Will my companion synod be directly impacted by the ELCA Malaria Campaign?
The ELCA Malaria Campaign is working through companion church programs in Angola, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. If you would like to organize a specific fund-raising program to benefit other ELCA companions, please contact ELCA Global Mission.
How can my congregation order ELCA Malaria Campaign resources?
Brochures, offering envelopes and posters can be ordered in bulk from this website: www.elca.org/malaria/resources. To see which materials are currently available, choose “ELCA Malaria Campaign” from the menu on the left. There is no cost for materials or shipping. Additional resources for education, worship and intergenerational activities can be found under “Resources” at the ELCA Malaria Campaign homepage: www.elca.org/malaria.
Why is the ELCA involved in fighting malaria through the ELCA Malaria Campaign?
The ELCA has a long history of combating malaria through its involvement with companion churches and their health systems. Additionally, global mission personnel have experienced malaria and worked to contain it over many decades of mission service. The ELCA is involved because our brothers and sisters in companion churches are suffering with a disease that is both preventable and treatable. Through years of global mission relationships, through the understandings of ELCA World Hunger about the interconnectedness of poverty, hunger, and disease, we have been engaged in working against malaria, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and other major health threats, as well as our ongoing ministries involving hunger and poverty. The ELCA Malaria Campaign is a continuation and an expansion of our global mission, our hunger program and our understanding of what it means to walk together as the body of Christ. When one member suffers, we all suffer. The ELCA Malaria Campaign hopes to address the suffering caused by malaria and alleviate it.
When did the ELCA Malaria Campaign begin?
The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted overwhelmingly to begin initial malaria campaign activities in the ELCA. In 2010 and 2011, Pilot Synods intentionally engaged with congregations and individuals in their synods, testing materials and providing feedback. In August 2011, the assembled body of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted to roll out the campaign on a national level. The ultimate goal is that every synod and every congregation will join the ELCA Malaria Campaign in our efforts to overcome malaria in Africa.
How can I give to the ELCA Malaria Campaign?
If you’d like to send a check, you can send it to:
ELCA Malaria Campaign
PO Box 71764
Chicago, IL 60694-1764
Please indicate “malaria” on the memo line of your check, and make the check out to ELCA Malaria Campaign.
To give an online gift using your credit card, please visit www.elca.org/malaria and click on “Donate Now.”
To make a gift by phone, please dial 800-638-3522 and our staff members will be pleased to help you.
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What is malaria? Why is it such a harmful disease?
Malaria is a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite and contracted from the bite of an infected mosquito. It affects all age groups — especially children, pregnant women and their unborn babies. Malaria results in symptoms similar to the flu: fever, nausea, achiness, fatigue. If malaria is contracted by an older child or adult, it is possible (though not easy) to survive. But when the immune system is compromised, such as in infants and pregnant women, the likelihood of death from malaria rises. Malaria is also impacted greatly by factors such as hunger and poverty, which further deplete the body’s ability to fight back once infected. Problems with access to medications for treatment, and the ability to pay for them, keep many malaria patients from receiving life-saving treatment and care. Lack of access to common methods of prevention, such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying or water drainage, also contribute to malaria’s continuing death toll, especially in Africa.
One in five childhood deaths in sub-Saharan Africa is due to malaria. The disease is preventable and treatable, yet it claims more than 655,000 lives each year.
Why malaria? Why now?
Malaria has been a destructive global disease for nearly half a million years, but at this moment in human history, the tide is turning. A global movement is afoot to overcome the disease and to bring hope to those who suffer from it. The United Nations Millennium Development Goal #6 concerns global health, and it names malaria as one of the global diseases needing the concentrated effort of all nations of the world in order to contain them. The ELCA Malaria Campaign is thus part of a global movement involving faith-based organizations, businesses, non-profits, governments, and others in efforts to contain malaria by 2015. Our efforts begin in Africa, where nearly 90% of malaria deaths occur.
How is malaria spread?
Malaria is spread through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. A mosquito becomes infected by biting an infected human and ingesting microscopic malaria parasites. These parasites undergo changes in the mosquito’s system that allow them to be injected into the next person the mosquito bites. The parasites complete part of their life cycle inside the mosquito and part of it inside the human.
Malaria is not transmitted by normal person-to-person contact, and it is not sexually transmitted. However, it is possible to become infected with malaria from blood transfusions or sharing needles with an infected person. An infected mother can pass malaria on to her unborn child before or during birth.
When a person contracts malaria, how is it treated?
Early symptom recognition is crucial in helping people infected with malaria to receive timely treatment. There are several different malaria drug treatment protocols, depending on the particular strain of Plasmodium parasite and the health circumstances of the affected individual. Mild cases of malaria can be treated with oral medication, but more severe cases might require intravenous drug treatment or even blood transfusion. Currently, artemisinin-based combination therapies, costing around $2.00 per dose, are considered the most effective treatments. Training for medical professionals is an integral part of the ELCA Malaria Campaign’s efforts and will keep health care workers up-to-date on issues of drug resistance and new combination therapies. There is currently no effective vaccine for malaria, but various research projects are underway.
Where does malaria exist in the world?
Malaria has been virtually eradicated in many parts of the world, including the United States, but remains endemic in tropical and subtropical climates in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Although fully preventable and treatable, malaria is still one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in the world, and is especially deadly to children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Does malaria exist in the United States?
Malaria has been virtually eradicated from the United States since the 1950s. However, each year around 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the U.S. The vast majority of these cases are diagnosed in people who have recently traveled or lived in areas of South Asia, South America or sub-Saharan Africa where malaria is present.
How can I learn more about malaria?
Here are some excellent sources for reliable and up-to-date information about malaria, its transmission, prevention and treatment:
The “Disease and Hunger Connections Toolkit” contains the following educational activities:
- Disease and Hunger: Pop Quiz
- Disease and Hunger Memory
- Malaria Tag
- Malaria Action
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How and why do mosquito nets work?
The female Anopheles mosquito, which spreads malaria by transmitting the Plasmodium parasite to humans, is nocturnal. She generally bites at night. Therefore, an insecticide-treated bed net can be an extremely effective tool in the prevention of malaria. A mosquito net is hung up over the middle of a bed so that it completely covers one or more sleeping persons. Not only do the mosquito nets create a barrier to mosquitoes, but the insecticide kills mosquitoes on contact as well, creating limited protection even for family members sleeping outside the net.
What kind of mosquito nets does the ELCA Malaria Campaign use?
ELCA Malaria Campaign partners use long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets, which retain their insecticidal properties for up to five years or 20 washes. The long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets contain pyrethroid insecticides and are purchased by our partners, in their own countries, from approved and reliable manufacturers. Mosquito nets treated with a pyrethroid insecticide both repel and kill mosquitoes, offering twice as much protection as untreated nets. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets have proven to be a highly effective method for combating malaria.
Do you buy the mosquito nets in bulk and store them at the churchwide office?
No. We encourage the use of sample nets, but those nets are exclusively for educational purposes. The “real” mosquito nets — the ones that are saving lives in Africa — are purchased in-country by our African companions, from a list of approved retailers.
Aside from mosquito nets, what are some other ways to prevent malaria?
Anopheles mosquitoes breed in areas where water stagnates, so water treatment and sanitation programs are crucial to our efforts. Indoor residual spraying (spraying of insecticides in homes) is another important part of our prevention programs. Education about malaria and its transmission will play a big part in radically reducing instances of malaria. Additionally, the ELCA Malaria Campaign will work with its partners to strengthen networking between local agencies, which will aid in comprehensive educational efforts and getting resources to where they need to be.
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