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Uniting to Fight Malaria Around the World
Date:4/25/2008

WASHINGTON, April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, on World Malaria Day, the American Red Cross is joining with its partners to raise awareness and encourage a robust global response to this deadly disease.

Each year, malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes, affects approximately 300 million people, mostly children in Africa. More than 1 million people die globally each year from the disease.

Since 2001, the American Red Cross and its partners in the Measles Initiative have distributed more than 31 million insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria in Africa and Asia, including more than 7 million nets in 2007. In Madagascar, the American Red Cross teamed up with its partners to mobilize more than 1.5 million nets for families.

"When you look into the eyes of a mother or child in Africa who has just received a bed net, you know that you have saved a life and prevented needless suffering. Most importantly, you have given a child and a family the opportunity for a healthier future," said Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chairman of the American Red Cross, who traveled to Madagascar for the campaign. "We stand in solidarity with the President's Malaria Initiative, our sister Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, and our many other partners to push back the tide of this deadly disease and continue the fight against malaria."

McElveen-Hunter is attending today's signing of the Presidential Proclamation in honor of the second annual Malaria Awareness Day by President Bush at the White House.

In addition to supporting the distribution of mosquito nets, the American Red Cross is working with volunteers from the Malagasy Red Cross to educate recipients about properly hanging and caring for their nets. These "hang-up/keep-up" campaigns increase the use of nets, which is essential for protecting families. Through this program, staff from the American Red Cross is working with more than 2,000 volunteers to provide l
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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