"How can we make malaria matter?" That's the question I was asked most often as I traveled throughout Thailand and into the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh to study the parasitic infectious disease that still kills an estimated 1 million human beings each year.
The progress made in the six years since the first World Malaria Day has not only saved millions of lives (child deaths this year are below 500,000 for the first time in history), but given us reason to believe, this World Malaria Day, we can defeat malaria in our lifetime.
I get more authentic personal satisfaction from giving when I put aside my personal experiences, do some research into charitable effectiveness, and give based on what I think is most effective at helping others.
The UK has displayed remarkable long-term vision with this commitment. Its contribution of £1 billion to the Global Fund for 2014-2016 can allow people in many countries -- from presidents to community organizations to health workers -- to transform their countries by fighting HIV, TB, and malaria.
I was very nervous to ask our leadership and board to give up $350,000 in those bed nets to pay for the overhead and infrastructure of creating a public campaign to raise awareness on malaria prevention
If we are ever going to solve this trillion-dollar problem, we have to think outside the box, outside the clinics, and outside the hospitals. We have to think about how people behave in their neighborhoods, homes, and places of business.
"Have you gotten your shots? The question is not as bratty as it sounds. There are a handful of places on earth you literally can't visit without getting vaccinated, and a wide array of countries where a few recommended shots could be the difference between a dream vacay and a medevac.
Perhaps the best part about KITE, from a consumer perspective, is that it's super easy to use. You simply place a colorful sticker on your clothes, and the device blinds mosquitos to your very existence for the next 48 hours.
With health care facilities remote or non-existent, medication unavailable or unaffordable, health knowledge shaky, and caregivers in short supply, how can informal communities keep contagion in check?
The disease steals 650,000 lives around the world each year, devastating entire communities and undermining opportunities for prosperity and growth -- and disproportionately affecting the African continent.
Malaria is a disease that is not on the top of mind of the general public, and it's important that we change this, the more people know about it, the better chance we have to make it a disease of the past. We can't let a mosquito win.
According to the World Health Organization, 650,000 people still die every year from this preventable disease, and most of those people are children under five years of age. Stop here and let that sink in: 650,000.
This week, on April 25, we will observe World Malaria Day. There's no better time to join a movement that is saving lives. My prayer is that one day, there will be no malaria. My hope is that day will come soon.
This is my call -- from a poor nation to history makers -- to be the generation who can change the course of history. Let's march mercilessly against TB, HIV and malaria. In an age of vaccines, antibiotics and dramatic scientific progress, these diseases can be brought under control.
"This is a critical moment. Our gains will be lost if we do not move forward to defeat these diseases. We can't stop now. We have a historic opportunity to completely control these diseases. It is 'invest now or pay later.'"
Even after you are no longer at risk of death, for months you are still physically weakened and thoroughly exhausted. I can personally attest to this. Imagine trying to train for a game in that condition. Now imagine trying to maintain a farm, or study for a big exam, or take care of your family.