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    Church Helps Fight to Eradicate Measles in Africa


    by LDSPublicAffairs

    April 2008 World Report Segment The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined the effort to improve the health and well-being of people in Africa by helping in the fight to eradicate measles. As recently as eight years ago, measles caused nearly 400 thousand deaths each year in Africa. The Church was approached in 2003 by the American Red Cross—it was in a partnership with the United Nations, World Health Organization and several other organizations—if we would financially support a measles vaccination movement. So from then until now we have provided financial support, but even more importantly we've had thousand of members of the Church involved in helping with these campaigns. Latter-day Saint volunteers have turned out to serve in many areas where measles devastate communities. And the results are measurable. In all of these countries, what they've done is been able to reach more than 90 percent of the target population. So we have seen the incidence of measles drop substantially around the world in the years that the Church has been involved. John Braxton: "Fortunately. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the American Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations have come together to assist the local Red Cross organization, Red Cross and Red Crescent organization, to reach out to their own people. Therefore we've created the greatest of all partnerships. We've got local people who live in this country heading and leading and directing. While on the other hand you have outside people who have a true and genuine interest in overcoming the measles problem that exists." Overall, the number of deaths by measles has fallen dramatically in Africa, with 91 percent fewer deadly cases reported since the year 2000. Worldwide, the Church has assisted in bringing vaccinations to nearly 200 million children. In Africa, it's estimated that 360 thousand lives have been saved. © 2008 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.