It’s way too cold out right now to be thinking about mosquitoes. Well, at least it’s too cold for most of us to even consider this summer pest.
But not for Ray Chambers.
Chambers is the co-founder of Malaria No More, a non-profit with one mission – eradicate malaria by 2015.
That’s a pretty big task especially considering that every 45 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria. But Chambers, who has devoted his life to this cause is working tirelessly to rid the world of this preventable and treatable disease.
If you look at the numbers, you’ll see that it won’t be easy. Every year:
- 247 million people contract malaria.
- Close to a million of those who contract malaria die.
- 91% of the cases are in Africa.
- 85% of them are children under the age of 5.
Surprisingly, there are a number of new cases of malaria in the United States every year, virtually all of which were acquired outside of the US. A lower risk stateside but a much higher risk for anyone traveling to countries where malaria is experiencing a resurgence. The growing resistance to anti-malarial drugs is also a cause for concern.
Ending deaths from malaria requires an investment in prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The arsenal of weapons used in this battle include bed nets, spraying, diagnostic tests and medicines. A vaccine is now in development to prevent malaria in the future. All of these require financial support.
To get enough support to eradicate malaria, this modern-day plague also requires visibility.
And visibility is something Chambers is pretty good at. He is currently the global ambassador for Population Services International (PSI), the world’s largest distributor of anti malaria mosquito nets.
PSI credits the support of groups like Malaria No More for providing the resources needed to send out 120 million nets, nets that have saved more than a million lives and prevented 100 million malaria cases.
Chambers is also the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, another avenue for visibility. And his organization, Malaria No More, is part of the global Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
Co-founded by the World Health Organization, the Roll Back Malaria partnership offers a global framework to implement coordinated action against malaria.
Ray Chambers is part of a partnership that’s fighting to wipe malaria off the face of our planet; he is also a man on a mission to do just that. That’s why he is on my list of 365 people and organizations that are changing the world.