Saturday, October 23, 2010

I write this a as a balding male…

As we focus on responding to God’s grace during this Thanksgiving season, one of the projects we will be taking about is malaria.
Malaria is something that I have been thinking and reading about for a while, so I wonder where to begin…

I could, for instance, talk about how malaria is one of the “diseases of poverty” identified by the U.N. in its Millennium Development Goals. It is a disease that is preventable and treatable except for the fact that most who suffer from it can’t afford its treatment. I could talk about how, in Africa, 1 in 5 children will die from malaria at the rate of one child every 45 seconds. Or I could note how in 2008, nearly one million children died due to malaria.

Yet one statistic really struck me this week. It was the one that Bill Gates pointed out in a speech that he was making on behalf of the Gates Foundation which is committing over a billion dollars to the care, treatment and prevention of malaria. He said that ten times more money is spent developing a cure for male baldness than developing a cure for malaria, despite the fact that malaria kills 1 million children per year. The reason he said is incentive. There is a profitable market for male baldness, but no such market for malaria drugs.

So I believe if we can raise awareness about malaria, we can actually help create that market, that incentive. I also think that doing this on behalf of the people who suffer from malaria is a great way to respond to God’s grace.

I also want to say on behalf of my own balding and to my bald brothers everywhere: Bald is beautiful. God made a few perfect heads… the rest He put hair on.

By the way if you want more info about the ELCA Malaria campaign you can go to

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