President’s Service Blog: MalTra Week
We Lions have the drive and responsibility to serve, both in our community and on a global scale. At 1.35 million members strong, we represent a powerful force for change. Lion Judy and I were honored to take part in the fifth MalTra (malaria and trachoma) Week, a combined treatment campaign supported by our partners and Lions that seeks to eradicate trachoma, while also preventing malaria, in Ethiopia and other countries by the year 2020.
Trachoma, a debilitating and contagious eye infection that causes blindness, can be treated easily with antibiotics. In Ethiopia’s Amhara region, there are more cases of trachoma than any other place in the world. During this MalTra Week in early November, more than 15,000 community health workers targeted 10 million at-risk people with donated antibiotic treatment – a great example of what Lions and our partners can accomplish together. We also celebrated the delivery of the 225-millionth dose of the antibiotic Zithromax®. This drug, often referred to as “the little pink pill,” is donated by Lions’ partner Pfizer Inc.
It’s this kind of action and Lions role as a partner that makes me so proud to be a Lion. More than 85 years after Helen Keller challenged Lions to be “Knights of the Blind,” we continue to reach out to preserve the sight of millions around the world.
In this footage, Lion Judy and I enjoyed the kick-off of the campaign in the village of Zeghie, in the northwest of Ethiopia. Young students sang about preventing malaria and trachoma and performed dances that are popular there.