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Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) is an organization committed Muslims issues and concerns that especially impact indigenous Muslims—issues and concerns that we feel have been largely neglected. With the launch of this web site we are inviting masjids, organizations and individuals to join MANA.
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Biting Back

Join the Bite the Bug 2009 Campaign and help eradicate malaria

Last month, prominent Muslim-American community leaders and activists accompanied Islamic Relief USA staff members on a trip to Mali to spearhead a campaign against Malaria.

The Bite the Bug campaign is mobilizing thousands of volunteers across the United States and religious leaders, like Imam Zaid Shakir from the Zaytuna Institute, who are excited to aid in Islamic Relief USA's effort to eradicate malaria.

Islamic Relief USA chose to commence its global anti-malaria campaign in Mali for the simple reason that malaria is endemic to more than 90 percent of Mali's population.

By the end of 2006 alone, an estimated 4.3 million cases of malaria in Mali, over half of which involved children under age five, according to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Imam Zaid revealed in his blog that malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, is filling up hospitals with infected and dying children who are in desperate need of treatment.

Starting Things Off

Imam Zaid and the Islamic Relief team, which featured other notables like Imam Talib Abdul Rashid, a well-known Muslim leader from Harlem, New York, and the Vice Amir of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), spent the first hours in Mali at a grand opening of an Islamic Relief health center in the village of Diena.

“Nothing in my imagination could have prepared me for the reception we received,” Shakir recalled in his Blog, praising the townsfolk.  “I was impressed by the dignity of the people we had met. They were poor, no doubt. However, they were honorable and dignified. They were not asking for handouts, just a helping hand.”

“The clinic was a clean, presentable facility that includes an office, a delivery room, a recovery room, a small maternity ward, and an adjacent sanitary restroom facility. Both of those facilities are about twenty meters from a well that was also provided by Islamic Relief,” he added.

Moving On

After a successful start to the trip, the team visited a hospital, where the harsh reality of poverty laced with disease shocked Shakir.

Imam Zaid was most surprised to see the number of children suffering from malaria.

“The patients were suffering from a variety of maladies as we would subsequently learn, most commonly malaria,” Imam Zaid said after his visit to a hospital in Rharous.

“Most of the patients were children. In fact, the child patients had taken over the women's wards in addition to the rooms designated for their treatment.”

Hospitals could not treat these patients, however, for one chief reason: lack of supplies.  Shakir even recalled the hospital's pharmacy to be “completely out of malaria medicine.”

Such memories validated the trip in his mind and strengthened his resolve to support Islamic Relief's efforts to help prevent and treat malaria.

World Malaria Day

April 25, 2009, will be World Malaria Day, a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world.

Curing and preventing malaria is not just a central goal for Islamic Relief, but one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which Islamic Relief supports.

Please support Islamic Relief USA's efforts to aid the people in Mali who are suffering from malaria by donating today and signing up for Islamic Relief's Bite the Bug campaign.
Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.

Quran: 2:143
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