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As Global Recession Worsens, is Malaria Killing Africa's Potential?
Date:4/14/2009

- World Vision calls for $1 billion a year in U.S. funding to save lives, stop economic drain

- Agency launches initiative to provide 3 million bed nets in four African countries

- New report warns bed nets for children, pregnant women not enough

WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In advance of World Malaria Day next week, aid agency World Vision warns malaria is sapping Africa's economic and human potential at a time when the global recession and ongoing hunger crises already threaten the continent's economic future.

"Malaria's toll is heavy in both lives and livelihoods," said Joe Mettimano, World Vision's vice president of advocacy. "It's a leading killer of Africa's next generation--children under 5--while it also undermines the economic prospects of those who survive."

"It adds up to $12 billion a year worth of painful 'sick days' for Africa's farmers, mothers, teachers and entrepreneurs--people who could be producing more food, income and opportunity to help their families break out of poverty," Mettimano said.

The Christian humanitarian agency and its supporters are calling on the U.S. government to increase anti-malaria funding to $5 billion over the next five years to meet the amount authorized in the Global AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria bill signed into law last year. In addition, World Vision is partnering with the Against Malaria Foundation to provide 3 million long-lasting, insecticidal bed nets to families in Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya and Mali over the next two years.

"Bed nets are a simple and low-cost item by American standards, but are out of reach for poor families in many hard-hit countries," Mettimano said. "Just $20 can protect an entire family with bed nets and training on how to guard against this disease that kills 1 million people each year."

Meanwhile, an upcoming report from Worl
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SOURCE World Vision
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