Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Thing's First - Malaria.

The HALO team has made two trips to Liberia so far this year. In an effort to not overwhelm you the reader with information, over the course of the next several weeks, information will be posted in segments about the details of the trips we’ve taken in 2013 as well as facts about the country itself.

HALO Ambassador Kelly Steckelberg with the local children
during the June 2013 Medical Mission.
The HALO Project’s goals are simple – give hope and a future to a community otherwise devoid of resources through the loving care of orphaned children and others left to fend for themselves. Our message is clear – you, Liberia, are not alone.

Medical treatment in Liberia is lacking at best. Most families would not be able to afford proper medical treatment if they were even aware any was available. Routine checkups are out of the question and many Liberians suffer daily with medical issues easily and commonly treated in the United States and other countries.

Neyor Karmue assisting a local resident.

One of the most prominent health emergencies in Liberia and the surrounding African countries is Malaria. Malaria is carried and spread by mosquitos. While it is curable, there is no preventative vaccine available and left untreated it can result in coma and/or death. Other symptoms include high fever, extreme pelvic pain and headache.

Diane, our Nurse Practitioner examines
a farm worker's child at CCH
During our visit in June, we were able to treat approximately 250 members of the community for various medical issues. One of the most prominent issues was Malaria. In most cases, if someone does not intervene on behalf of the sick, they will not survive as they have no community or government support to rely on and very little money to eat and otherwise live. Our nurse practitioner Diane contracted Malaria while on our trip and is now easily empathetic to how debilitating this disease can be. While she was tested, treated, and on her way to recovery within 24 hours this is often not the case for members of the community. Two of the children from our orphanage were sick with Malaria on each of our trips this year – Jerry in March and Josiah in June. In each case, Neyor was able to diagnose and treat the children and ultimately save their lives. Without the support of CCH neither of these children would have had the hope of treatment.
Medical Mission - June 2013
Josiah, a resident of CCH who was
treated for Malaria during our June visit.
The test and medication for treatment cost about $5 USD each (about 250 Liberian dollars). In a country where most households are below the poverty level (bringing home less than $1.25 USD/day), the cost for treatment is too great and as a result Liberia and 13 other countries account for about 80% of the reported deaths from Malaria annually.

$5 in the United States will generally not produce much of anything, nor is it sorely missed. In Liberia, it’s a matter of life and death. For more information about donating this small denomination to save the life of a grateful soul, visit http://www.myhaloproject.com/whydonate.html.

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