My name is Marcia Canter and I’m a Nothing But Nets champion based in Colorado.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that diseases don’t respect borders. As COVID-19 continues to spike across the globe, I want to talk to you about another disease that has claimed millions of lives long before this pandemic – malaria. Every two minutes a child dies from this mosquito-borne illness.
The US must continue to support the fight against malaria – alongside the fight against COVID-19 – in order to save lives from both diseases. Currently, as COVID-19 continues to divert attention and resources away from other infectious diseases, malaria rates are increasing – as they have throughout history in similar situations like Ebola and Zika. Yet malaria rarely makes it into our news cycles.
For reasons like this, I’ve been a champion with the Nothing But Nets campaign since 2008 so that I can help raise awareness in my community. I’ve even met with my Member of Congress to advocate in support of programs to help defeat malaria, a disease that kills over 400,000 people every year.
As a champion, I began working with my church youth group, and later in classrooms across Colorado, South Dakota, and Nebraska, to raise awareness and funds for this issue. The kids I’ve spoken to are always shocked to learn about malaria and often organize events like basketball marathons, lemonade stands, and school fundraisers to raise money.
They inspired me to write a book called Mosquito Madness to show other kids that they are never too young to make a difference.
Now more than ever, it’s critical that we don’t lose ground. When our government supports programs like the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, life-saving interventions like bed nets and rapid diagnostic tests are available to those at-risk. Text the word “Champion” to 30644 to learn how to contact your Members of Congress. Ask them to commit to ending malaria forever as we fight against COVID-19!