Africa’s Youth Must Continue To Advance Progress Against Malaria, Says Opinion Piece
Global Health NOW: It’s Time for African Youth to Advance the Fight against Malaria
Winter Okoth, founder of the Pamoja Kenya Mentorship Alliance Organization and Nothing but Nets malaria champion
“Growing up in a rural area near Kisumu, Kenya, I never realized that malaria, one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases, was entirely preventable and treatable. It is a threat that my elders have never lived without — but my generation can end it. Malaria affects the young more than the old, with pregnant women and children at greatest risk. So, it’s now our turn to turn the tide against this deadly disease; we can no longer rely on our elders. They have taken us far, with continued investment saving 7 million lives and preventing more than 1 billion malaria cases over the past 20 years. But with progress fragile and reversible and COVID-19 threatening to disrupt essential malaria services, we must keep up the fight to ensure these gains are not lost. … I invite my peers to consider what skills they can offer — perhaps as a health care worker, or by educating your community about the importance of using a mosquito net. No matter your age or your experience, you have the power to make a difference — and we can be the generation to end malaria once and for all. I have a dream that one day the whole world will be free of malaria — one village, one country, one region at a time” (10/13).