On World Malaria Day, a Commitment to Eradication

 Pelavin: "Malaria, proven beatable by our own country more than half a century ago, can be defeated around the world today." 

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WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 23, 2010 - In honor of this weekends observance of World Malaria Day, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

This Sunday, on World Malaria Day, we recommit ourselves and the Reform Movement to the eradication of the disease that claims the life of a child every 30 seconds and takes 1 million lives each year.


As recently as 60 years ago, malaria was a real and present problem within the United States. Yet through commitment and simple, inexpensive steps, the U.S. overcame this disease, preventing its transmission and making all Americans healthier. The same can be done in nations around the globe; malaria, proven beatable by our own country more than half a century ago, can be defeated around the world today.


Dedicated anti-malaria efforts, such as insecticide-treated bed nets, have proven highly effective in reducing deaths caused by the disease. That is why the reform Jewish Movement is a proud partner in the Nothing But Nets campaign, and why Reform Jews have raised over $750,000 and donated over 75,000 insecticide-treated nets to refugee camps in Africa.


We commend President Obama for the $95 million funding increase request for the Presidents Malaria Initiative and other anti-malaria programs in his FY 2011 budget. And we remain committed to greater U.S. leadership in the international arena, to secure the $6 billion per year that experts believe will lead to a worldwide eradication of the disease.


The great sage Hillel asked, "If not now, when?" There is no question about our ability to defeat this disease; the only piece of the solution missing is global will. The time has come to activate it.