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Government of Madagascar and Coalition of Global Partners Launch Measles and Malaria Prevention Campaign
Date:10/21/2007

Bringing the Children of Madagascar a Healthier Future

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The government of Madagascar, in collaboration with international partners, is launching a national health campaign to vaccinate more than 2.8 million children against measles and distribute more than 1.5 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria-diseases which take the lives of more than 1 million African children each year.

"We look forward to the day when all children will be protected from preventable diseases that cause needless suffering and death. By mobilizing people and resources, we are making a significant difference in the lives of millions of children," said Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the American Red Cross. "We salute the President of Madagascar, as well as our many humanitarian partners and volunteers, as we offer the hope of a healthy life for Africa's children."

In Madagascar, from October 22-30, all children between 9-59 months are targeted to receive a measles vaccine. Mosquito nets will be distributed to children in 59 districts, where malaria is most prevalent. In addition, all children in the target group will receive Vitamin A and de-worming medicine to improve their immune systems and help them grow stronger. According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the fight against measles and malaria are major contributors to reducing childhood mortality.

Already, partners in the Measles Initiative - led by the American Red Cross, UNICEF, the United Nations Foundation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization - have supported the vaccination of more than 372 million children in 49 countries, helping to reduce measles mortality by 60 percent worldwide and 75 percent in Africa (compared to 1999).

Similar efforts are being made to stop the spread of malaria-one of the leading causes of child deaths in Africa. Or
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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