Washington, D.C. (Vocus) April 27, 2009
The United Nations Foundation announced today that, working with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), it will send over 346,000 life-saving bed nets to refugees in temporary camps in 11 African countries. This effort is building upon the momentum of hundreds of events that have taken place around the country in support of World Malaria Day and the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign, a global, grassroots initiative to prevent malaria.
The Nothing But Nets campaign has already sent more than 275,000 nets to 27 camps in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan. A life-saving bed net can protect a family of four from malaria.
"Thanks to the incredible work of our partners and supporters, we've already been able to protect more than 600,000 refugees from malaria in eastern Africa," said Elizabeth Gore, Executive Director of Nothing But Nets. "Now we'll be able to help protect over a million of the world's most vulnerable people."
Malaria is the number one killer of refugees in Africa. Due to inadequate shelter, unsanitary living conditions and lack of medical care and supplies, refugees are particularly susceptible to contracting malaria and dying from the disease. Two thirds of the 33 million refugees worldwide live in malaria-endemic countries.
"Recently, we were able to provide a life-saving bed net to every refugee in need in Kenya - and have since seen the malaria rates plummet. Malaria now accounts for just 10 percent of all deaths, down from 33 percent just three years ago. However, even though the impact is measurable, there is more work to be done. We need more people to send more nets and save more lives," said Gore.
Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the easiest and cost-effective methods of preventing the spread of the malaria. Bed nets prevent malaria transmission by creating a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of transmissions occur. It costs just $10 to purchase and deliver a net to a refugee in need, and to educate the recipient on its proper use.
To learn more about the impact of malaria on refugees in Africa, or to donate, visit http://www.NothingButNets.net.
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, tens of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association's NBA Cares, the people of The United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. It costs just $10 to provide a long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net to prevent this deadly disease. Visit http://www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.
Amy DiElsi, United Nations Foundation
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