While we ponder what to have for dinner – steak or chicken – much of the world is going hungry, many of them young children. It is heartbreaking. They are crying out for help. The faces you see in the ads are real and the suffering portrayed is significant. Those lacking healthy nutrition need a voice, and we are here for them as advocates. Reading this blog should be the start of your new mental journey of awareness. Thank you for joining us.
Raising recognition of world hunger is our purpose and we have a quest to reach more people in more places. We want to iterate the problem that we all know exists and to fund programs to remedy it. Health is of utmost concern in the third world. The rest of us worry about our physical fitness, undertaking personal regimes with trainers who design customized exercises or investing heavily in the best home gym systems to help us feel better about eating too much. This is a luxury of the affluent indeed.
Hunger is so widespread as to almost be impossible to cure, but we have made inroads and we will make more. With the help of the public, good nutrition can be made available to the poor countries or areas within them. It can be in the east or west. Even in the United States there are pockets of despair. We can no longer afford to bury our necks in the sand. We need to get them out and looking around.
The areas of concern are too numerous to itemize, but you should know the primary ones. Africa is hard hit with hunger. It is a populous continent that takes millions of sacks of relief food to address the lack of nutrition. What humanitarian organizations provide is so basic and includes potable water. It is not always a well-rounded meal with protein and fresh fare. Whenever you feel a bit off about what you are eating—such as leftovers—think about the waste you accept as an ordinary fact of life. Who hasn’t had a parent say, “eat your dinner, there are poor children in India.”
Sponsoring a child is a wonderful thing and is now open for your consideration. You can provide a meal a day for a small monthly sum. Helping the hungry is our duty and responsibility no matter your age, profession, religion, or financial assets. We can all help by drinking one less soda or chewing one less pack of gum. It is a blessing to participate in any program such as World Vision. You will reap many personal rewards. Improving the conditions that lead to poverty is also a vast realm for volunteer workers and funding. Anything we can do is vital. Much research on root causes is needed and energy deployed to make a dent in world hunger. New methods of growing crops can help. It is not always that there is food shortage, but it is often the fact that people can’t afford it. In the long run, eradicating poverty and hunger go hand in hand.
There are many world causes such as hunger and clean water that command our attention. Environmental issues are always on the front table. There are also many diseases yet to eradicate. New viruses are appearing all the time alongside deadly bacteria. Take your pick and devote yourself to anything that will better humankind, especially in third world nations where progress needs further impetus. Right now I am thinking about malaria, a condition that has plagued populations exposed to mosquitos that transmit the dangerous plasmodium parasite. Regional pest control has been effective, but it needs to be more widespread. Fundraising is once again on our table to help advance this cause.
Certain insects can transmit malaria to humans, and those of are of prime concern. Biologists understand the mechanics of the process, but a step further must be taken to safely combat infestations without toxic chemicals. The fever, fatigue, vomiting, and headache associated with the disease are dreadful and can lead to jaundice, coma, and death. Mosquito nets are seen in high-risk territories and spraying is common. Government regulation is not always there to eliminate abuses. Drug therapy can help the patients, but what can take care of a mosquito problem at the source?
The World Health Organization recommends 12 insecticides for this purpose—even DDT which as a bad rap in agriculture. There are many on the list due to the fact that the insects can become repellant resistant. This is known to be the case in parts of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand. Mosquito larva fester in open water areas that can be treated and better yet reduced in number. Community education is an important program that draws local attention to issues demanding resolution. Stagnant water in tanks, for example, are breeding grounds that must be eliminated. Other water sources have to compensate and that is costly and difficult in most rural regions.
Another means of pest control is to manage population congestion that fosters rapid transmission. People need to learn about sanitation, window screens, and draining wetlands. Again, education is a profound tool in the war against malaria. Fatality rates can be as much as 20% of those infected. (There were 660,000 deaths worldwide in 2010). We have come a long way, but we can do more to reduce this number to close to zero. Vaccines are under consideration and development, but not yet made public. Organizations like Malaria No More and the Malaria Atlas Project are certainly timely. Kudos go to the scientists and researchers hard at work to improve the cure.
Pest control should take on a new meaning in your mind and goes well past a few ants and cockroaches in the kitchen. They are unpleasant but not life-threatening. It is serious business when a mosquito can spread a disease through the delivery of saliva and the uptake of blood and impact human well-being. Don’t let anyone become a blood meal, no matter how far away. Support malaria eradication and spread the word. Obsolescence is the goal.