Target: Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization
Goal: Call for greater international leadership on preventing the spread of malaria
Malaria, a preventable disease, kills up to 1,700 people a day. Caused by a parasite, the disease travels from person to person via the bite of a certain type of mosquito. Backed by international funding, the deployment of known prevention methods such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets and antimalarial pills has thankfully reduced infection rates. Yet, with mosquitoes becoming increasingly resistant to insecticides, and the parasite itself developing resistance to antimalarial drugs, the danger is by no means passed. Urge the World Health Organization to guide governments and medical organizations in taking a more rigorous approach to malaria prevention.
Though considered a lesser threat in industrialized countries like the U.S., malaria remains the top killer in many nations, according to reports in the New York Times. One essential preventative measure comes in increasing access to the antimalarial medication proven effective against disease. For the sake both of confronting a major health disparity and for eliminating the increasingly drug resistant parasite altogether, the WHO must lay the groundwork for these steps to be taken without delay. The WHO can also lead the way in prioritizing funding for programs of surveillance as part of the intervention itself rather than as an added expense.
Malaria’s prevalence in remote areas with the low health infrastructure makes it even more crucial to have WHO leadership in accomplishing these steps. By signing the petition below, you can urge the WHO to assume a greater role in eliminating this deadly disease.
Dear Dr. Chan,
I am writing to bring your attention to the deadly, but preventable disease of malaria. Killing up 1,700 people a day, this seasonal disease has thankfully seen reduced infection rates due to internationally funded interventions. However, in the face of both the mosquitoes’ and the parasite’s increasing resistance to insecticide and antimalarials respectively, I urge your organization to guide governments and medical organizations toward a more rigorous approach to malaria prevention.
The WHO can lay the groundwork for the implementation of key measures. Increasing access to the antimalarial medication proven effective against disease, for instance, works to eliminate not only a major health disparity but also the parasite altogether. The WHO can also lead the way in prioritizing funding for programs of surveillance as part of the intervention itself rather than as an added expense. With WHO leadership, nations with low infrastructure can receive the support they need to protect their communities from this deadly disease. I encourage you to consider the multitude of lives your actions can save.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jim Gathany via Wikimedia Commons