Archives for posts with tag: World Health Organization

Quality of life and longevity do not necessarily go together. Many years do not guarantee a rich and full life but if I could choose, I would certainly want to stick around a long time.

Logo of WHO World Health Organization

According to the World Health Organization Japan has the highest overall average life expectancy of 84 years. Andorra, Australia, Italy, San Marino, Singapore, and Switzerland rank second with 83 years. African nations occupy the final 30 spots with Sierra Leone last with a life expectancy of 46 years. The United States is number 34 of 194 at 79 years.

There are many factors that effect how long one lives. Harry Truman said the secret to living a long life is to take a two-mile walk every day before breakfast. That might have worked for him but it is not for me.

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George Burns was one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, radio, film and television. Before he died at the age of 100 he said, “f you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”

A ninety year old man was asked to what he attributed his longevity. “I reckon,” he said with a twinkle in his eye, “it is because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have sat up and worried.”

A recent study cited on the website, Health.com, found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can age you by as many as 12 years.

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Julie Zaumer, writing for the Washington Post last month, offered one other suggestion for living longer. She cited a new study published recently by the American Medical Association which concluded that those who attend church services more often actually have a better chance of staying alive in the long run.

Small Rural Church in Texas Stock Image

Over a 20-year span, the study surveyed a group of more than 76,000 female nurses. More than 13,000 of them died during the 20 years. The women who went to religious services more than once a week were 33 percent less likely to be in that group who died, compared to those who never attended services.

Tyler VanderWeele, a researcher at Harvard’s school of public health who co-wrote the study, said participants who attended services once a week saw the odds of their dying go down 26 percent. Those who attended services less than weekly increased the odds of them dying 13 percent. In addition, they found the effect of religious attendance was stronger than that of any other form of participation in a social group like a book club or a volunteer organization.

So, if you want to live longer: don’t smoke, limit your alcohol consumption, eat your veggies, stay active, and attend worship services regularly.

I’ll see you in church.

Jamie Jenkins

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Approximately 4 million babies were born in the United States last year. if we knew that in the next five years 800,000 of them would die from one disease, we would stop at nothing until we found the solution to that problem.

The situation described above is the kind of scenario faced by parents in sub-Sahara Africa. 1 of every 5 children born in that part of the world will die before they are five years old. A child dies every 60 seconds from the killer disease of malaria. That is over 1400 children every day who lose their lives to a disease that was virtually eliminated in the United States over 60 years ago- malaria. The World Health Organization estimates that 650,000 people will die this year from malaria, most of them children under the age of five and pregnant women.

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The good news: we know how to stop death and suffering from malaria and great progress has been made. Malaria is 100% preventable and 100% treatable. In 2006 a child died every 30 seconds. That death rate has been cut in half in the past 8 years through the efforts of many people and organizations.

In 2006 the United Methodist Church was invited to partner with several other groups with Nothing But Nets, a highly successful program that distributed insecticide treated bed nets to protect people from being infected with malaria. But more was needed.

INM_logo_(horizontal)So in 2008, building on the success of Nothing But Nets, the United Methodist Church established a more comprehensive approach to fighting malaria: Imagine No Malaria. It continues the important task of net distribution and builds on it, adding treatment, education, and communication to bring about a sustainable victory over malaria in this generation. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation generously underwrites all administrative costs of the effort so every dollar given goes directly to this ministry.

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Since 2010 Imagine No Malaria has distributed more than 2.3 million bed nets to protect a family while they sleep at night when the mosquitoes are most active. 11,600 volunteer community health workers have been recruited and trained to deliver those nets and to teach people how to properly use them and to instruct them on other preventive measures.

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Imagine No Malaria also provides affordable and accessible medications to the more than 300 United Methodist hospitals and clinics in 16 countries of sub-Sahara Africa. 13 national health boards have been established to oversee the work and to seek additional funding sources.

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United Methodists across the country have contributed $65 million toward Imagine No Malaria’s goal of $75 million by next year. Now we have an opportunity to join them to reach the goal and save millions of lives.

 

Look what $10 can do through Imagine No Malaria::

  • deliver an insecticide treated bed net to protect a family while they sleep to protect them and to kill mosquitos
  • teach the recipient how to use it properly
  • teach the symptoms of malaria and other means to prevent the disease
  • provide early diagnostic kits as well as accessible and affordable medications

Only $10 to save a life. $100 saves 10 lives. $1000 saves 100 lives.

INM TtEXT TO GIVE

To donate:

  • Text MALARIA NGC to 27722 (be sure to leave a space before NGC) and $10 will automatically be donated.
  • Send a check for any amount to the North Georgia Conference, 4511 Jones Bridge Circle, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 and designate it for Imagine No Malaria.

You can learn more about this effort to eliminate death and suffering from malaria at

http://www.imaginenomalaria.org or http://www.facebook.com/NGCimaginenomalaria or

http://www.facebook.com/imaginenomalaria

We can do more than imagine no malaria. Together we can make it a reality.

Jamie Jenkins