While sympathizing with those who have contracted or are at high risk for contracting malaria is important, I believe it is our responsibility as human beings to take a more active role in the fight against it.
I, for one, refuse to be idle while over a million people succumb to this preventable disease each year.
Both of my parents are from Ghana, West Africa, making the struggle against malaria an important one to me. After revisiting my home for the first time in many years and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net of my own, I now realize that malaria is not just the pictures and surreal statistics we see on TV; it is a deadly disease that affects real people. Malaria is a global issue, affecting numerous nations around the world, and if something as simple as a bed net can save a life, I believe it is our responsibility to take a stand and be a part of the solution.
Malaria is still one of the deadliest diseases in our world today, and it’s time for more people to understand and address that.
At Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, CA, I started the Nothing But Nets Club with fellow Nothing But Nets champion Sean Darcy. We have held various fundraisers at school events and are starting to draw in more students who feel that they can help make a change. In November, the two of us, along with our classmate Hugo Mercado, met with Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) to discuss her commitment to combatting malaria. In our meeting, she agreed to continue supporting the work of Nothing but Nets, the Presidents Malaria Initiative (PMI), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United Nations.
Our goal is to raise money for and awareness about a cause that means a great deal to us. We believe that many more people would commit to supporting the fight against malaria if they knew the extent to which it affects women and children in developing countries.
With the help of Nothing But Nets, I know that we can continue to bring malaria to the attention of people across the United States. Those motivated to join our team to defeat malaria can support our cause through fundraising, advocacy, and various other activities. To whomever is reading this, thank you for your time, but more importantly, thank you for committing to saving families across the world from malaria.
Justin Adjasu is a current member of the Nothing But Nets Champions Council. Join him at the Leadership Summit in March! Register here: http://bit.ly/2E3umu1.