American Red Cross Club fundraises for measles

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Kevin Park, Staff Writer

American Red Cross Club, which has been working directly under the West Los Angeles Red Cross Youth Group, will start fundraising for measles-infected children starting next week. The American Red Cross Club has been assigned by the local district to raise $80 by selling 80 pins for a dollar each. The American Red Cross Club will have a special event for Measles Initiative fundraising in Mr. Dan Moroaica’s classroom, room 284, during lunch on Tuesday March 13. The fundraising event will continue throughout the entire week.

American Red Cross Club President Stacy Lee’s goal is to raise $80 by selling all provided pins from the district to support the Measles Initiative.

“We are really eager to help out children who are suffering from measles. It is even sadder, because it only costs 80 cents to save one child, but people are not informed and aware of it,” Lee said.

All donated money will go to West Los Angeles Red Cross Youth Group District General Meeting on April 6.

American Red Cross club also accepts donations from both students and adults.

“In addition to West Los Angeles Red Cross Youth Group, Red Cross, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Foundation, and World Health Organization also execute intensive donation program for measles-infected children. The most important part of participating is to let your friends and family members know what measles is and how to help measles-infected children,” Lee said.

American Red Cross Club also promises to bring more activities in the future.

“Measles Initiative fundraising event is only our first step. We look forward to providing more activities such as donation events, local service events, and college events,” Lee said.

Measles is a highly-contagious virus, spread by contact with an infected person through the respiratory system. It is so contagious that 90 percent of the people who come near an infected person will become infected, if they have not been vaccinated. Measles does not cause death directly, but it weakens the immune system and opens doors to secondary health problems, such as pneumonia, blindness, diarrhea, and encephalitis. Approximately 30 percent of reported measles cases have one or more complications. These debilitating effects are most common in children under five and adults over 20. Poor children, mainly populated in Africa, are more likely to be malnourished and have severe complications from measles. Even if a child recovers, he or she can be left with permanent disabilities.

Although the effects of measles still remains deadly, it is easily preventable with a vaccination that only costs 80 cents per one child. Since 2001, the Red Cross’ global organization, Measles Initiative has dropped the mortality due to infection of measles from 750,000 per year to 164,000 per year. The Red Cross is still keen on continuing its success and expanding the target area from Africa to India and Southeast Asia. Under this circumstance, the West Los Angeles Red Cross Youth Group began to work with the International Red Cross district to help its global organization, Measles Initiative.

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