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Lakeland Grad Working in Cameroon to Fight Malaria

The following excerpt comes from The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and was originally published on April 23, 2012.

“What will you do to honor World Malaria Day this Wednesday?

Although this nod to one of the world's most devastating illnesses may go unnoticed by many in the United States, former Lakeland resident Jesse Casanova knows exactly what he'll be doing. As a coordinator for the Peace Corps' Stomp Out Malaria effort based in the African Republic of Cameroon, he'll be leading volunteers in spreading the word to locals on how to protect themselves and their loved ones from malaria.

According to the World Healthy Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of people are infected with malaria every year. The dangerous disease is spread through the bite of parasite-infected mosquitoes, and according to WHO, the epidemic is especially troublesome in Africa, where "a child dies every minute" from the infection.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the spread of malaria, mainly through the use of mosquito nets to keep out insects at night. But, people need to understand the importance of using a net consistently, as well as learn the early-warning signs of malaria, and what treatments are available, Casanova said. And spreading the message of malaria prevention is just what Casanova, 29, and his Peace Corps assignment have been all about.”

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