The Lutheran Malaria Initiative Fellowship has brought together 5 college students from around the United States who have taken on the challenge of raising awareness and gathering funds to end malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. This summer they headed to Tanzania to see the work of LMI first hand. This post was written by Louisa Mehl (Concordia University, Nebraska) and Mai Vu (Concordia University, Irvine).
It is not every day that one experiences death at one’s fingertips. For Adam Heriel, husband and father, holding death was no accident.
One year ago, Adam Heriel, was called to help carry his neighbor’s pregnant wife to the hospital. She was suffering from anemia which was caused by a recent case of malaria. According to the World Health Organization, pregnant woman and children under the age of five are the most susceptible to malaria. Unfortunately, on the way to the hospital, the pregnant woman died in his arms.
Convicted by the death of his neighbor, Adam urged his own pregnant wife to go to the clinic to receive two free doses of IPTP. These doses shield a mother and child from contracting malaria. Adam heard about these methods of prevention and treatment from an evangelist that had been trained through LMI and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania.
While at the clinic, Adam’s wife also received a voucher to buy a treated bug net at the discounted price of 500 Tanzanian Schillings. This option is offered to all pregnant women in Tanzania. Not only are mothers and their babies protected during the pregnancy, but after as well.
The Lutheran Malaria Initiative has a mission that is not accomplished through the hands of one, but the hands of many. It takes trainers, pastors, evangelists, Sunday school teachers, and community members all working together for a common cause. One year ago, Adam held death in his hands, now he holds his newborn baby. By God’s grace through the work of LMI, Adam and his wife live happily with six healthy children.
$1 you can help a child with malaria receive medicine. By receiving medicine once symptoms arise, malaria is treatable.
$10 you can help provide one family with an insecticide-treated bed net and the proper education on its use. A bed net can reduce malaria transmission by as much as 90 percent.
$50 you can underwrite the cost of malaria prevention messages to raise awareness on a local radio station. Many people know little about malaria, including how it’s contracted and its symptoms.
$100 you can help train healthcare workers to diagnose and treat malaria. Training medical workers is crucial to successful malaria education and treatment.
$1,000 or more you can help provide microscopes and other medical equipment to rural health clinics. Laboratory equipment helps to specially diagnose malaria.