FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — The scourge of malaria is very real to the people of Sierra Leone, said Bishop John K. Yambasu, United Methodist episcopal leader of the West African country.
“Sierra Leoneans fully understand the disease,” he said, “because malaria is endemic in the country. We live with it, sleep with it and wake up with it.”
According to the World Health Organization, malaria is the most common cause of illness and death in Sierra Leone, accounting for about half of outpatient visits and 38 percent of admissions. Children younger than 5 years of age and pregnant women are the most vulnerable.
The bishop is grateful for The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria initiative. At publication time, The United Methodist Church worldwide had raised more than $53 million in cash and pledges toward the $75-million goal. Yambasu knows that every 60 seconds, malaria claims a life in Africa. Imagine No Malaria aims to empower the people of Africa to overcome malaria’s burden.