Saturday, June 7, 2014
Bonus Blog - what's in your yard?
I was re-reading a few chapters of "A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven" and came across this section. We maybe complain about our flying friends filling our backyards and filling themselves with our blood, but I guess it could be worse.
The World’s Most Deadly Life Form
We also taught the Maasai about Hepatitis B, tuberculosis, typhoid, and malaria.
Looking across the wide savannah, I could picture the many animals that lived there and killed there. Lions, rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles all have reputations as man killers. Our active imaginations added poisonous snakes to that category. In reality, a much smaller creature claims the title of the one that kills the most people anywhere in any given year.
Two to three million people worldwide die yearly from diseases caused by the bite of the ordinary mosquito. In addition to malaria, this insect causes elephantiasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, and West Nile virus.
People traveling to countries where malaria is prevalent are usually prescribed a simple preventive medication to take daily the entire time they are away, and to take for an additional week after returning home. An immunization against malaria also shows promise.
One of the speakers at Lifest shared a tragic malaria story. A young girl had gone to Africa on a mission trip and had taken the full course of the prescribed anti-malaria medication. After she returned home, she became ill with fever, chills, headaches, and body aches. Initial testing was negative for malaria; this wasn’t questioned because she had taken her medication. As her condition continued to deteriorate, the doctors ran more tests. This time the results showed a rare and drug-resistant strain of malaria. Before enough of the proper treatment could be administered, the previously healthy girl passed away.
“What were we getting ourselves into?” I asked myself at the time. Why would God send us into a country where a simple mosquito bite could kill you?
Sitting on a stone in the shade of the sturdy trees at Mosiro, I studied the dark faces of the Maasai. I thought I knew the answer.