Dr. Michael Dent / December 4, 2012
Greetings from warm Washington, DC! I’m here for a couple days with over 100 United Methodist leaders from across the country to receive and share information and inspiration regarding the Imagine No Malaria campaign. This initiative – a partnership of the United Methodist Church with the Bill Gates Foundation and the United Nations Foundation – is working to save the lives of children in Africa. Six years ago a child died of malaria every 30 seconds. Today a child perishes every 60 seconds from the treatable, beatable, and preventable disease. Our goal is to raise $75 million by the summer of 2014 to eliminate this often fatal disease. We are already over 1/3 of the way to reaching our goal with $28 million in gifts and pledges! The Rocky Mountain Conference goal is $1.2 million. Bishop Elaine has invited me to co-chair the campaign for our conference.
What can you do to help? Pray for the campaign, those living and dying with malaria, and this gathering here in the nation’s capital. Tonight I walked by many memorials – Jefferson, Lincoln, MLK, WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War. All paid tribute to those who sacrificed to make a better world. Our names will likely never be on such memorials, but we can sacrifice to save precious children threatened by the parasite received through the bite of an infected female mosquito.
Tomorrow we will be visiting the offices of our senators and congressional representatives to encourage their continued support of the global health funding that helps the battle against TB, HIV/AIDS, and malaria in developing countries. No one knows what federal funds may be reduced because of the fiscal cliff. Our nation’s support in saving lives in this and other nations is a wise and good thing with a high ROI (return on investment) in stability and community sustainability. As United Methodist and DC veteran, Mike McCurry, remarked to us today, “This work is far more interesting, valuable, and rewarding than being White House Press Secretary during the Clinton administration!”