Fundraiser Focuses on Preventing Malaria in Africa

Published on Mon, December 03, 2012

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide in 2010, and most fatalities from the disease took place in Africa. Malaria—a mosquito-borne illness—is preventable, and that has prompted Campus Ministry and Catholic Relief Services to collaborate, raising money to fight malaria in Africa.

On Wednesday, December 5, Marywood's men's and women's basketball teams will play Baptist Bible College. All proceeds will be used to purchase insecticide-treated bed nets, which are used to combat the spread of malaria.

Sr. John Michele Southwick, IHM, assistant director of campus ministry, says it is important to raise awareness about preventable diseases such as malaria.

"Malaria is still taking people's lives," Sr. John Michele said. "More than two million people—mostly children—die of malaria every year, and it's preventable. [The disease] also perpetuates poverty. If someone gets it, they can't work. Why wouldn't we do something?"

According to Catholic Relief Services:

  • Malaria is one the most common and serious diseases in the world, yet it's preventable.
  • Malaria perpetuates poverty. When people are sick, they cannot work, then food becomes scarce, medicines become unaffordable and families suffer.
  • Malaria was eradicated in the United States in 1946. This public health campaign paved the way for the creation of the Centers for Disease Control.

For the past three years, Campus Ministry and Catholic Relief Services have worked together on a number of other initiatives such as the Fair Trade Sale, the Lenten Rice Bowl, and student food fast.