Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Malaria isn't History

In 1942, Robert Kanavel, an 18-year old Navy Hospital Corpsman, left the MOB 5 Hospital on New Caledonia and headed to Guadalcanal as a volunteer for innovative Malaria Control Unit “Skeeter Beaters.”   Early in the Pacific Campaign of WWII, malaria caused more Allied deaths than did Japanese bullets.   With the help of his unit and others which followed, casualties in the Pacific were cut by 98%.  Many of the Skeeter Beaters, including my father, Pharmacist Mate Kanavel, contracted malaria while fighting it.

Malaria isn’t history.  According to the World Health Organization(WHO), malaria kills more than one million people each year.  More than 40% of the world’s population is at risk, in areas such as Africa, Central America, Hispaniola, India, the Middle East, Oceania, South America, and Southeast Asia.  Children and pregnant women are most at risk.  The Centers for Disease Control   (CDC) report that malaria is the fourth leading cause of death for children under five years of age worldwide.   A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.

The Skeeter Beaters are still fighting malaria.   Joining with the charity Against Malaria, Skeeter Beaters, their families, and friends are helping to combat the illness by purchasing long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN).   You can join them. A contribution of only $5.00 buys one LLIN. You can also contribute to the Skeeter Beater legacy by purchasing items from the Skeeter Beaters -- U. S. Navy Malaria Control Unit Cactus online store.   The proceeds will be donated to Against Malaria in honor of Malaria Control Unit Cactus.

Every day, the number of children who die of malaria would fill seven jumbo jets.   In the time it took you to read this, another two children have died.  Please join the fight against malaria.


Chanticleer said...

SoldierMedic sent me this link.
Dual malaria, HIV infection fuels AIDS spread in Africa. I never considered how catastrophic the combination the two diseases could be.

Chanticleer said...

More interesting information.

The Economic Costs of Malaria in South Africa


Chanticleer said...

And yet more info!

DDT, Global Strategies, and a Malaria Control Crisis in South America

DDT house spraying and re-emerging malaria

Anne-Marie Carroll said...

Wow, Sandra, I never realized Malaria was still so big and devastating. They have my donation coming. A-M still shaking her head.

Chanticleer said...

Thanks, Anne-Marie, for your support. I know I was surprised to learn how serious a problem malaria is today.

Dennis said...

Against Malaria and the Legacy of the Skeeter Beaters is right on the money when it comes to purchasing life saving mosquito nets....check out this article in the New York Times...

Chanticleer said...


Thanks for the link. Here it is in a clickable format.

Distribution of Nets Splits Malaria Fighters

I enjoyed reading Skeeter Beaters. You've helped many of us become more aware of the importance of malaria control in WWII and of the sacrifices of Skeeter Beaters like my father.