What are you doing for World Malaria Day? Read what Rev. Alfred Chana tells us about Malaria As a Disease of Poverty.

Malaria As a Disease of Poverty

Many thanks to the Rev. Alfred Chana, Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia, for providing this very informative interview about malaria and its effect on household economics.

Senior Pastor Alfred Chana of the Evangelical Lutheran Chruch in Zambia speaks about malaria as Malaria Program Coordinator Abel Makungwe looks on.

Senior Pastor Alfred Chana of the Evangelical Lutheran Chruch in Zambia speaks about malaria as Malaria Program Coordinator Abel Makungwe looks on. (Photo: Matt Jeppsen)

When malaria attacks a person, be it a child, a mother, or the father, the whole household is affected. The economic level of that household goes down.

Parents have to find money to take that child to the clinic, to pay for the medication, probably to pay for transport, to pay for food if the child is admitted to the hospital–so it becomes so costly, you see? The level of the economic power in the household tends to go down because of malaria.

Also, once they get sick, malaria disrupts the education of school-going children. You’ll find that the child, instead of attending classes, is ill. And the child will lose a lot in the class. By the time he or she recovers and can go back to class, they find that their classmates have already gone a long way. And it takes time–it takes the child time to catch up with what others have done.

Not only that, malaria also drains the food security.  Because as you may be aware,  70% of the population of Zambia lives in rural areas.  And that means that people scratch their livelihood out of agriculture.  And if they fall ill, that means they don’t go to work, and they lose out. After many years of this pattern, a family is food insecure.  And that means now, there won’t be good nourishment.

So malnutrition creeps in because of malaria.
Poverty creeps in because of malaria.
Food insecurity creeps in because of malaria.

So once malaria is reduced to a level that would allow people to continue their activities, that means that the level of poverty will go down, and children will do well in their education at school.  And food security will be ok.

Income-generating projects such as agricultural collectives help households to afford good medical care and malaria prevention. (Photo: Matt Jeppsen)

Income-generating projects such as agricultural collectives help households to afford good medical care and malaria prevention. (Photo: Matt Jeppsen)

Those are some of the dynamics that malaria as a disease creates in families here in Zambia, which is why the malaria program, creatively, has come up with an activity that we are calling “livelihood.” This activity will provide economic power to the families. That way, you are empowering the families so that, even when they are attacked by malaria, they can stand the pressure of poverty, food insecurity, and the like.  So these are some of the issues that are very critical.

I would like to appreciate what the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is doing.  Because it is from the ELCA that we are receiving these resources which we are utilizing to promote the Lutheran Malaria Program in the communities and the church.  And it is my appeal to the ELCA church membership to take hold of this program and see how far we can go in helping out the recipients and addressing the issue of malaria in our church and our community.

These "Lutheran" piglets represent a malaria-free future for their owners, who can now afford malaria prevention supplies and good medical treatment thanks to their newly-stable household income.

These “Lutheran” piglets represent the hope of a malaria-free future for their owners, who can now afford malaria prevention supplies and good medical treatment, thanks to their newly-stabilized household income. (Photo: Abel Makungwe)

Posted From ELCA Malaria Campaign, Make Malaria History



Our Work in Niger, Africa (Lutheran World Relief)

Our Work in Niger, Africa (Lutheran World Relief)


As a member of the Hanzari Women’s Group, one of LWR’s partners in Niger, Hadizatou Makole received training in business management and credit to build up a herd of animals.

Now, she can provide for all eight kids on her own. She has purchased four ewes and a cow — unheard of for a woman in her community. Hadizatou represents a turning point in opportunities for women in Niger, made possible by the kind of grassroots movements LWR supports.

Without these programs, Niger’s women would likely remain marginalized — uneducated, vulnerable, unable to access credit — and the country would lose out on the leadership they have to offer.

The coming years will be an uphill battle for this struggling nation. Yet LWR will continue to act alongside some pretty amazing local partners to combat the causes of poverty in Niger.

Your donations help LWR projects that empower the people of Niger.

  • Providing technical training in sustainable agriculture, increasing production, processing and marketing
  • Repairing and protecting crop irrigation systems
  • Developing appropriate local seed supply for cooperatives of smallholder farmers
  • Promoting access to training and credit for income-generating activities and small-business management
  • Increasing economic growth and alliances among women farmers and entrepreneurs so they can advocate for more decision-making power.
  • Instituting programs to help communities recover from and prevent future food shortages by
    • Restoring lost livestock
    • Building, repairing and stocking community grain banks
  • Training farmers to adapt farming methods to the climate, using conservation agriculture techniques


World Malaria Day 2013

World Malaria Day 2013

World Malaria Day is April 25, 2013. We are turning this day into a special week – focusing on the work of the ELCA Malaria Campaign. You and your congregation are invited to join ELCA members across this church in observing World Malaria Day through the ELCA Malaria Campaign on Sunday, April 28, 2013.

Use the ideas below to plan a service to draw attention to the malaria crisis and what our church is doing to make a difference.

Here’s how your congregation can get involved:

    1. Announce that on Sunday, April 28, you will be joining congregations across the country and people around the world in the fight against malaria by observing World Malaria Day. This bulletin insert will help.
    2. Invite your congregation to dedicate its offering or take a special offering for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Order free offering envelopes by April 12 for timely delivery. Or checks can be mailed to ELCA Malaria Campaign at P.O. Box 71764, Chicago, IL 60694-1764. Be sure to include “World Malaria Day” in the memo line.
    3. Find service ideas on how to involve the entire congregation.
    4. Pray for those affected by malaria by using the suggested prayers, litanies and hymnsbelow specifically made for World Malaria Day.
    5. Show the ELCA Malaria Campaign video before or during church service.
    6. Find more resources online and visit the malaria blog.


Service ideas

  • Decorate the sanctuary in mosquito nets. (Nets can be purchased at camping or military surplus stores.)
  • Every 60 seconds a child in Africa dies of malaria. That means that during the course of an hour-long worship service, an average of 60 children die of malaria. A powerful way to commemorate the lives of these children is by ringing a bell or playing a note on the organ every 60 seconds during the spoken parts of the liturgy (including the sermon).

Suggested hymns:

  • Healer of Our Every Ill (ELW 612)
  • We Come to You for Healing, Lord (ELW 617)
  • Ubi Caritas et Amor (ELW 642)
  • Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love (ELW 708)
  • Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service (ELW 712)
  • Light Dawns on a Weary World (ELW 726)
  • The Church of Christ, in Every Age (ELW 729): Stanza 4 is especially appropriate to our malaria work: “For he alone, whose blood was shed, can cure the fever in our blood…” (The malaria parasite lives in a human’s bloodstream and causes a high fever.)
  • We are Marching in the Light (ELW 866)


It comes like a thief in the night, stealing health and hope;
Lord of love, bring healing to your broken world.
Suffering from malaria, your people cry out to you;
Lord of love, bring healing to your broken world.
Under the yoke of disease, the walk to the clinic is long;
Lord of love, bring healing to your broken world.
Resources at our fingertips, love on the tips of our tongues;
Lord of hope, use us to heal your world.
We have an abundance of gifts, given to us to share;
Lord of hope, use us to heal your world.
With our sisters and brothers in Africa, standing ready to serve;
Lord of hope, use us to heal your world.

Lord, you teach us to love;
Not in word or speech, but in truth and action
And so, in truth and action
Let us share your love.


Prayers of the people:

Forgiving God, we confess that we fail to hear the cries of the world. Turn us from selfishness outward. Help us to listen to the voices of others who suffer, in our neighborhood and in our world, and to respond with generosity of heart.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.
Almighty God, you rule with a gracious arm and a loving heart. Inspire governments and leaders to guide their people with justice and to work toward peace. Teach us all to act with mercy so that the hungry are fed, the sick are healed, and the vulnerable are protected.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.

Compassionate God, you call doctors and nurses and health care providers into lives of caring and service. Strengthen the hands of those who do your work of healing — both at home and in faraway places — so that they may minister to others with courage and strength.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.

Living God, you bring light from darkness and life from death. Embrace with your healing arms all those who suffer, especially those whom we name aloud or in our hearts. [… ] Bring healing of body and mind to those who are sick, especially those whose lives are impacted by malaria and other diseases intensified by poverty.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.

Eternal God, we commend to your loving care those who have died, especially […]. Comfort their loved ones with your promise of eternal life, and embolden us to work toward a world where no one must die of preventable and curable diseases.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.
Pastor: Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.