Nothing But Nets Delivers 133,000 Anti-Malarial Nets to Children and Families in Mali as Part of Integrated National Campaign

Washington, D.C. |  December 12, 2007

As part of an integrated, national health campaign in Mali targeting more than 2.8 million children under the age of five, Nothing But Nets—a global, grassroots campaign to prevent malaria—announced today it is delivering 133,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to children and families to prevent the transmission of malaria. Malaria is a leading cause of death for children under five in the country.

"Here in Mali, it's hard to find anyone who hasn't been touched in some way by malaria," said Elizabeth McKee Gore, director of campaign partnerships at the United Nations Foundation and director of Nothing But Nets. "Nothing But Nets and our partners are grateful to the thousands of individuals who have logged on to www.NothingButNets.net and donated as little as $10 to send these lifesaving bed nets."

Representatives from the United Nations Foundation, creator of Nothing But Nets, and campaign partner representatives including Midfielder for Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire Diego Gutierrez, Midfielder for Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo and MLS Cup 2007 MVP Dwayne De Rosario, Center for the Women's National Basketball Association's San Antonio Silver Stars, Two-time WNBA Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Ruth Riley, Director of Global Health for the People of the United Methodist Church Gary Henderson, and Medical Director for Global Issues & Projects at ExxonMobil Dr. Steven Phillips are currently in Mali to participate in the net distribution and meet with children and families affected by malaria.

"Whether you are an athlete, a religious leader, a CEO, a volunteer, a student or a teacher, we all have resources that we can utilize to help make a difference in this world," said Ruth Riley, two-time WNBA champion, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, and national spokesperson for Nothing But Nets. "By mobilizing all of our resources and support, we can help to make a significant impact on the lives of children."

The nets will be distributed from December 13 - 19, 2007 and will help provide full coverage in Mali—one net for every child under five living in an endemic area. Over 2 million bed nets will be distributed as part of this integrated health campaign. Nets are also being provided by key allies in the fight against malaria, including the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Canadian Red Cross, and Malaria No More. In addition to the distribution of nets, the integrated health campaign, led by the Malian Ministry of Health, will provide measles and polio vaccinations, de-worming medication and vitamin A supplements. It is the first time in Mali that these five health interventions have been delivered at the same time.

While in Mali, the Nothing But Nets team will also participate in activities aimed at educating local youth on malaria prevention and healthy living habits. On December 15, 2007 in Bamako, the athletes will teach basketball and soccer skills to close to 120 Malian boys and girls age 12-16. During the sports clinic, the athletes will also educate the children about ways to prevent malaria and other childhood diseases with the children. In addition, Nothing But Nets representatives will participate in a faith leader's event that will gather both local and international leaders of faith together to discuss ways to address global health problems.

The integrated health campaign, including the distribution of nets, is organized and implemented by the government of Mali and the Measles Initiative, a partnership led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF. Other key partners contributing to the integrated health campaign in Mali include:

-Governmental & Intergovernmental Organizations: Mali Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross (CRM/CRC), World Health Organization (OMS/Mali), International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF, The American Red Cross, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF/Mali, Ministry of Social Development, Solidarity and the Elderly, The Assistance Technique Nationale/USAID (ATN), The Network of Traditional Communicators (RECOTRADE), National Federation of Community Health Associations (FENASCOM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), USAID/Mali, and The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), among others.

-Non-Governmental Organizations: United Nations Foundation, Helen Keller International (HKI), Groupe Pivot Santé Population (GPSP), Population Services International (PSI)

-Corporations: ExxonMobil, Vestergaard Frandsen

-Health Campaigns & Initiatives: The President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), Malaria No More, Nothing But Nets, Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), Micronutrient Initiative (MI/HKI and UNICEF)

Every 30 seconds a child in Africa dies of malaria; long-lasting insecticide-treated nets are a cost-effective and simple approach to combating the deadly disease. The Nothing But Nets campaign, created by the United Nations Foundation, has raised more than US$16 million and, by the end of 2007, will have delivered more than 700,000 nets. More than 60,000 individuals have contributed to the Campaign which is also supported by partners such as NBA Cares and WNBA Cares, the People of the United Methodist Church and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. An interactive map offering more information about past and future bed net distributions can be found at www.NothingButNets.net.

High quality photographs and video footage are available upon request due to the generous support of ExxonMobil. Visit www.NothingButNets.net for stories, photos and videos from the trip.

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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 former Sports Illustrated 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 only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.

Press Contacts:
Sarah Balch Amy DiElsi, United Nations Foundation
(o) 202.572.2986, (e) sarah.balch@gmmb.com (o) 202.419.3230, (e) adielsi@unfoundation.org

 

Diego Gutierrez"When I learned that malaria is deadly but preventable, I had to act."

Diego Gutierrez
Former MLS player, TV Analyst and Executive

Read more about Diego ยป

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