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Every 30 Seconds an African Child Dies from Malaria; Education Key to Prevention
Date:4/16/2009

RICHMOND, Va., April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An African child dies every 30 seconds from this same disease; nearly a half billion people become ill because of it. About 1 million children under the age of 5 die each year from malaria -- a disease that is entirely preventable.

As World Malaria Day approaches April 25, Christian Children's Fund Senior Program Health Specialist David Shanklin stresses the importance of education about the disease.

"Education is the foundation for prevention, but many vulnerable families do not know how malaria is transmitted or how to prevent or treat it," Shanklin said.

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted to people through infected mosquitoes. About 40 percent of the world's population is at risk of malaria, Shanklin said, with the most serious area of impact being sub-Saharan Africa. About 90 percent of deaths due to malaria occur in Africa, mostly among young children.

"Less than 25 percent of people who need prevention and treatment services actually receive them," Shanklin said.

In countries where CCF works and there is a problem with malaria, staff work with public health services to mobilize families to use insecticide-treated mosquito nets to sleep under, seek prompt treatment of suspicious cases, encourage pregnant women to take anti-malarial medicines and encourage indoor spraying for mosquitoes.

One of those women who received help from CCF is Justine from Uganda, who nearly lost a baby in 2008 because of malaria.

"It would make me vomit a lot, with a very high temperature," she said of having malaria. "I was hospitalized at a maternity clinic where I spent 13 days and was put on intravenous fluids."

A CCF-trained malaria community volunteer came to Justine's home and taught her about malaria control and prevention.

"I learned how malaria is transmi
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SOURCE Christian Children's Fund
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