Update from  URI  in regards to  Malaria

3 May 2011

Dear Friends 

Greetings of peace, light and blessings from URI Africa. 

As you know, peace is not only the absence of war, it is also the existence of health, the practice of the Golden Rule, safety in matters of social or economic welfare, the acknowledgment of equality, and fairness in all relationships. 

As we all are a member of URI which is a peace-building organization I want to appeal to all URI CCs to bring our voice together on the issue of Malaria and do whatever we can to solve this global problem. 

I am brining this issue to your kind attention because approximately half of the world's population is at risk of malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries. It infects more than 500 million people per year and kills more than 1 million. The burden of malaria is heaviest in sub-Saharan Africa but the disease also afflicts Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and even parts of Europe. 

The following facts will give you a clear picture as to why we need to pay due attention and join our hands together to address this deadly issue. 

According to different sources: 

·         Malaria kills nearly one million people each year; eighty-five percent are children under 5. 

·         More than 2,000 children under 5 ─ or one child every 40 seconds ─ dies from malaria each day. 

·         Malaria is the fourth leading cause of child deaths worldwide and second leading cause of child deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

·         Malaria infects an estimated 250 million people each year. 

·         Approximately 50 million women become pregnant each year in malaria-endemic areas and the disease contributes to around one quarter of severe maternal anemia cases. 

·         The most common malaria species in Africa, Plasmodium falciparum, is estimated to cause as many as 10,000 maternal deaths each year and 8-14% of all low birth weight babies. 

·         Malaria is a prime cause of low birth weight in newborns, anemia, and infant deaths. 

·         The protective effect of insecticide-treated bed nets has the potential to prevent as many as one million deaths from all causes for children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa. 

·         Approximately 50 percent of the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria. Most of those at risk live in the world’s poorest countries. 

It is for this reason that the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007 designated April 25th as World Malaria Day. April 25th is a day to commemorate global efforts to control malaria. The theme of the fourth World Malaria Day is "Achieving Progress and Impact" and heralds the international community's renewed efforts make progress towards zero malaria deaths by 2015. 

On the occasion of World Malaria Day, URI Africa wants to thank all governments, organizations, foundations and individuals who are working in addressing this global problem. Our especial thanks goes to Tony Blair Faith Foundation with whom URI Africa is joining hands in the fight against Malaria. 

As  Mr. Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of UK, said "For the first time this generation has the opportunity to do two astonishing things to work together alongside those of other faiths from all corners of the world and to tackle one of the world’s greatest global health challenges- malaria.” 

Please visit the web site of Tony Blair Faith Foundation for practical action. It is www.tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/pages/world-malaria-day-homepage. Sign up to the Faiths Act World Malaria Day campaign. Organize a multi-faith event or awareness raising campaign to help raise vital funds and awareness for malaria. 

Faiths Act is a global movement which aims to mobilise people against malaria and demonstrate faith as a force for good. We can seize this historic opportunity and help contribute to the end of malaria by holding a multi faith fundraiser for malaria prevention 

World Malaria Day represents a chance for all of us to make a difference.  Therefore as URI global family members let us help mark this year by highlighting our collective voice and action to make the lives of every man, woman and child count. Together, we have a unique opportunity to make a difference globally while building bridges between communities locally 

May Peace and the Golden Rule Prevail on Earth 

In Peace 

Mussie Hailu