It was lonely in those fields and don’t think I didn’t have my run-ins with the queen bee.
But others are joining me thanks to a movie named Twilight and a toothy vampire who fell in love with a human. Blood sucking just ain’t cool anymore.
Well I made the commitment long before that movie. It was in 2010 when I witnessed with my own bug eyes what my bite did to a child in poverty. You see, there I was . . .
Enjoying a puddle left behind by a late season rain shower in Burkina Faso when I caught the scent. Blood and fresh. I buzzed around until I spotted my prey, a young boy headed home from school. I took a bite and ate my fill. And then, just for giggles, I followed him home.
What happened next changed my view on my diet forever. For over a week I watched him and his family, feasting happily. Then it began. First the chills started and he couldn't keep warm. No matter what the adults did, he would shiver, shake and cry out at all times. Then later he would start to get really hot and complained that his head hurt. The boy began drifting in and out of consciousness before falling into a coma. Within two days, he was dead.
I didn't know. I didn't know what my bite could do. So that's when I flew as far and as fast as I could to the flower fields and I haven't taken a drop of blood since. My name is Massimo the Mosquito and I am a recovering blood drinker.
It seems rather silly doesn't it? The idea that a mosquito would go sober. But the glaring truth of the story is that half of the world's population, that is 3.3 billion people, are at risk of malaria infection. And 655,000 children die of it, that's one every thirty seconds, each year.
And what's worse?
It is preventable and treatable.
This Thursday is World Malaria Day 2013 and we can make a difference. It's as easy as helping to provide mosquito nets for beds.
|Attribution: Compassion International|
- provide households at risk with treated mosquito nets
- educate family members on malaria prevention
- treat children suffering from malaria, chagas disease and dengue fever