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Malcolm X Daughter Travels to Ancestral Home; Joins Muslim-American Leadership to Fight Malaria in Mali
Date:12/7/2007

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In her 2002 book "Growing Up X," Ilyasah Shabazz describes growing up as the daughter of martyred civil rights leader Malcolm X. More recently, Ms. Shabazz has delved deeper into her family tree, discovering her roots in the African nation of Mali.

This December 9 - 14, Ms. Shabazz will visit her ancestral home for the first time as part of a Muslim delegation hosted by Malaria No More, an organization working to end malaria-related deaths in Africa.

A 90% Muslim country, Mali is 100% malaria endemic experiencing over 800,000 malaria cases per year. Malaria kills more African children than any other disease -- one child every 30 seconds. Yet the disease is easily prevented with tools like long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, which cost only $10 to buy, deliver, install, and educate people on proper use.

"I'm thrilled to work with Malaria No More to alert Americans to the malaria crisis ravaging Africa," said Ms. Shabazz. "That I have a family connection to Mali only makes the problem that much more personal."

Ms. Shabazz has committed her life to exploring her family's legacy and empowering youth. She'll do both during her trip to Mali, where she'll meet with local religious leaders, see the African malaria crisis firsthand, and participate in the distribution of 2.1 million insecticide-treated bed nets to children under five as part of an integrated measles-malaria campaign.

For the first time, the Malian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with international partners, is launching a national integrated health campaign to vaccinate more than 2.8 million children against measles, and distribute over two million insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent the spread of malaria. Children will also receive polio vaccinations, de-worming medication, and Vitamin A supplementation to improve their immune systems and help them grow stronger.

By the end of this campaign, all children under the age of five and their families will have received an insecticide-treated net.

Ms. Shabazz will be joined by a delegation of high-profile Muslim-American scholars, leaders, and activists representing organizations including the Islamic Society of North America, Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Ministry of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, and the Muslim Students' Association National (MSA National).

In addition to Malaria No More, partners in the campaign include the American Red Cross; UNICEF; the United Nations Foundation; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the World Health Organization; the Canadian Red Cross; the Canadian International Development Agency; the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Population Services International; the President's Malaria Initiative; and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

About Malaria No More

Malaria No More's mission is simple: to end deaths due to malaria. Malaria No More works to raise the profile of the disease among the public, policymakers, and businesses, while engaging the private sector to provide life-saving bed nets and other critical interventions to families in Africa.

CONTACT:

Martin Edlund

917-224-3563

press@malarianomore.org


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SOURCE Malaria No More
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