Mercy and Justice:
Politicking for Imagine No Malaria
By Barbara Dadd Shaffer
It was an interesting combination of people who met recently with staff of four members of Congress, encouraging the Senators and Congressmen to support the Imagine No Malaria campaign. United Methodists were included in the visits by the national and local leaders of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (JCI or the ‘Jaycees’ for short) who brought their perspective to the cause. For the second summer, the national president has embarked on a ‘Bzzz Tour’ to visit more than 100 Congressional offices. The Jaycees arranged all the office visits plus a reception for fifty people who share the passion for eliminating the scourge of malaria.
Mercy is caring for the sick, including those with malaria.
We read the quarterly report from the Jamaa Letu Girls’ Orphanage about several children having malaria recently. We told the staff people about the pink nets in the girls’ orphanage and read from the report from the boys’ orphanage about the boys now faithfully using theirs (not pink). This is mercy.
Justice is preventing the disease.
We told the story a UM bishop who ordered a water ditch to be dug near a village so water would not stagnate; mosquitoes cannot breed in moving water. We talked about the need to increase access to healthcare to treat malaria patients so mosquitoes won’t become carriers from biting them. This is justice.
The Jaycees knew about the financial impact of malaria. More than $12 billion in productivity is lost annually in sub-Saharan Africa because of malaria. This impacts not only the African economy and economies of other malaria-endemic continents but also the US economy with lost trade and higher prices for goods from international sources.
The members of Congress were asked to become members of the Malaria Caucus, to support the Malaria Resolution, and to support continued funding for the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund for Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
If you would like to help, donate a monetary gift through The Pacific Northwest Conference. In your check, designate in the memo “Imagine No Malaria” and send to P.O. Box 13650, Des Moines, WA 98198.