World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day is tomorrow, April 25th. Episcopal Relief and Development describes the day, Nets for Life and how we can help. The Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, also issued a statement.

‘The cost of preventing and treating malaria is only a fraction of what the disease costs us in terms of lost lives, lost income, lost productivity, lost learning’ Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has said. ‘The world must get its priorities right in tackling this preventable and curable disease, which claims a million lives a year, and causes the death of a sub-Saharan African child ever 30 seconds.’

Speaking on the eve of World Malaria Day, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town added ‘with half the globe’s population at risk from malaria, including within substantial areas of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, I fully endorse the call of Bishop Dinis Sengulane of Libombo Diocese in Mozambique, for us all to take time on 25 April to consider how we can contribute to overcoming this scourge. We must continue to pray for all those infected, affected, and at risk – but we must also act wherever we can to defeat the menace of malaria.’

He underlined the need for better information on preventing, curing and eliminating malaria, saying ‘First, we must get rid of stagnant water wherever possible, and ensure everyone in malarial areas has mosquito nets. Second, people must understand that swift medical treatment can make all the difference in saving lives and limiting the effect of the disease – do not delay in getting yourself, or your children, to the clinic if you think you may be infected! Third, the international scientific community needs to make this a far higher priority, reflecting its impact on the world as a whole.’ He added ‘It is unacceptable to see malaria merely as a “disease of the poor” and for medical research, and those who fund it, to focus disproportionately on diseases largely in the developed world, which impact on far fewer people globally.’

Noting that in some areas of Africa and elsewhere, steady progress was being made, the Archbishop nonetheless urged greater urgency, in pursuit of the UN Secretary General’s 2010 target for delivering effective and affordable protection and treatment to all people at risk of malaria. ‘In partnership with Hope Africa, the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund, and others in the US, UK and elsewhere, the Anglican Church in Southern Africa will continue to do what it can to achieve this necessary goal’ he concluded.

Episcopal Relief and Development describes what is at stake in detail:

To mark World Malaria Day, April 25th, 2009, NetsforLife(r), a program partnership of Episcopal Relief & Development, announces its second phase – an initiative to mobilize over 30,000 volunteers and distribute up to 7 million mosquito nets to 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa over the next seven years.

NetsforLife(r) will reaffirm this pledge at the One World Against Malaria Summit hosted by the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria and the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty in Washington, D.C. this week. The Summit will feature major players in the

fight against malaria including United Nations Ambassador, Susan Rice.

NetsforLife(r) partner, the Rt. Rev. Albert Chama of Zambia will provide details about the work in country. The program partnership will be represented by Executive Director, Shaun Walsh; William Asiko, President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation; Dr. Steven Phillips of Exxon Mobil; Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development and Chairman of the Board of Episcopal Relief & Development, the Rt. Rev. Robert J. O’Neill, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado.

NetsforLife(r) brings together corporations, foundations, faith-based organizations and private donors in a collaborative initiative focused on eliminating malaria in Africa.

Malaria is one of the biggest killers in sub-Saharan Africa, with a staggering human and economic cost. Transmitted through infected mosquitoes, malaria:

Infects 300 to 500 million people every year

Kills 3,000 children a day and nearly 1 million people annually

Costs an estimated $12 billion in lost productivity in Africa

The distribution of one insecticide-treated net can save three people from malaria. Seven million nets can save 21 million from illness and death. When insecticide-treated nets are properly used by three-quarters of the community, malaria transmission is cut by 50%,

child deaths by 20%, and the mosquito population drops by as much as 90%.

The Phase 2 initiative will be the largest distribution of nets yet by NetsforLife(r) and an unprecedented commitment towards eliminating malaria.

“NetsforLife(r) is pleased to be one of the key organizations helping to educate and save lives from malaria,” says Shaun Walsh, Executive Director, NetsforLife(r). “Our education efforts have helped to raise knowledge about malaria transmission from 50% to 82% in sub-Saharan

Africa. Over 11 million people have benefited to date from distribution of the nets. We are now looking forward to reaching even more of those, especially children, most vulnerable to malaria.”

NetsforLife(r) works with partners to eliminate malaria by distributing insecticide-treated nets and educating local communities in the hardest to reach areas in Africa. Working with community leaders, the program instills a “net culture”- an understanding of the value of nets and the correct way to use and maintain them. Programs also provide access to testing and treatment.

Supported by ExxonMobil Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, the Starr International Foundation and White Flowers Foundation, and NGO partner Episcopal Relief & Development, NetsforLife(r) implements integrated malaria prevention programming in 17 malaria endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a vibrant network of local churches, faith-based organizations and NGOs.

To make a contribution to help eliminate malaria, please donate to NetsforLife(r) online at, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief & Development, designated for NetsforLife(r)/Malaria Fund, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

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