With thousands dying daily, how long can they
Each day in Sub-Saharan Africa, thousands of young children are dying. The
saddest part about this incredible crisis is that many of these deaths are
Low food supplies, unclean and unsafe water -- accompanied by diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, measles,
whooping cough, tetanus and tuberculosis are claiming the lives of African
children in record numbers. In most cases, death from these illnesses is
preventable -- and even curable.
Immunization, nutrition, clean water and simple, basic health-care monitoring
and treatment could save the lives of thousands of children every day.
"Africa has the highest infant mortality rates in the world!" explains Fr. Richard Roy. Fr. Roy lived as a
missionary for more than 20 years before returning to head the Missionaries of
Africa's development office in Washington, DC.
"Out of 1,000 children born in various African countries this year,
nearly 120 of them will die before their first birthday. It is a horrible
Most African children die from malnutrition, diarrhea and childhood ailments
which might be considered common in other parts of the world. In nearly every
case, vaccines exist that could prevent the contraction of these illnesses.
"The children of Africa are suffering more than any group ever has in the
history of the modern world." Fr. Roy continues. "People ask me how long things
will continue this way. In many ways, I think the answer to that is mostly up to
us. Most of the world has an abundance of food, clean water and medicine -- I am
praying that those of us who can -- will reach out to these children who are
suffering . . . to send them the help they need to survive."
The Missionaries of Africa are currently serving in more than 20 nations throughout Africa.
Financial donations are urgently needed to help provide basic care for children
-- especially those living in the sub-Saharan region.
"Twenty percent of Africa's children will die before the age of five,"
a recently released report stated. The statement was part of a series of reports
that demonstrate the horrible conditions currently facing children throughout
"Every day 30,000 children die from a combination of disease-
infested water and malnutrition," the report continued. "Water-borne diseases
are claiming one child every three seconds. These diseases are the major killers
of small children in Africa."
In addition to those lives being claimed for lack of clean water and malnutrition, diseases
such as AIDS, malaria, pneumonia and typhoid
fever are killing record numbers as well.
"As a consequence of the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa," one report
stated, "it is estimated that more than 18 million people have died to date, of
which over 3 million have been children. Additionally, more than 25 million
adults are currently infected which will result in the continued increase in the
number of orphaned children. To date, more
than 15 million children have already been orphaned as a result of the epidemic.
Another 1 million children are currently infected with the disease."
"We've been appealing for emergency help for the men, women and children in
Africa because of the situation that exists there," Fr. Richard Roy explains.
"When reports like these are published, people begin to realize just how serious
the crisis in Africa is."
"To say that one child out of every five (20%) will die before the age of
five is heartbreaking -- and a real human tragedy!" he continues. "Imagine if
out of 20 little children you know -- four were going to die before age five . .
. how desperately would you want to do something to stop this from happening!
Well, that is what's going on in Africa -- it's just that we don't know these
little boys and girls personally."
The Missionaries of Africa are currently raising funds to be used for disease
prevention among African children. Once collected, these funds are used by
missionaries working in the field to help prevent diseases such AIDS, malaria,
typhoid, pneumonia and measles as well as to provide food, clothing, clean water
and education to those most in need. Anyone interested in contributing should
send their check to the organization's Washington, DC, office.