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By: NBA.com

NBA Efforts to Combat Malaria

December 15 2006

Nothing But Nets announced that the campaign’s efforts to fight malaria by delivering long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets (bed nets) to children and families throughout Africa were highlighted at today’s White House Malaria Summit hosted by President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

Since May 2006, the Nothing But Nets campaign has raised over $1.7 million with average donations of 62 dollars. Representatives from the founding partners of the campaign, The National Basketball Association, the People of the United Methodist Church and the United Nations Foundation were all present at this historic event showcasing private and public efforts to eradicate malaria.

“While bed nets are just one way to curb the spread of malaria, the power of the campaign is that it is an easy thing for people to understand and even easier for them to have an impact, ” said Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President for Community and Player Programs. “Send a net. Save a life. It’s just that easy.”

Through NBA Cares, the NBA and WNBA, its teams and players have taken a holistic approach to supporting the Nothing But Nets campaign - - committing to implementing grassroots events & activities; engaging in communication and awareness efforts; helping generate funds; and participating in bed net distributions. On January 23rd, 2007, NBA Legend Sam Perkins will be in Lagos, Nigeria to participate in the distribution of bed nets with the Measles Initiative through the World Health Organization.

The People of the United Methodist Church have been in mission across Africa for more than 160 years. The denomination’s work in the area of malaria prevention makes it a natural partner for Nothing but Nets. Several global agencies of The United Methodist Church will launch supporting campaigns to educate and raise money for bed nets.

“Ending malaria is going to take the power of millions of people,” said Thomas Bickerton, a Bishop in The United Methodist Church in the USA. “Working with all of the partners, we’re hoping to inspire the global community to help us end this disease by providing bed nets to women and children all across Africa.”

Nothing But Nets was created by the UN Foundation in May 2006. Inspired by a column written by Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly, the campaign’s founding partners are the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The People of the United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. Other partners include AOL Black Voices, Malaria No More, Rotarians’ Action Group on Malaria and VH-1.

Bed net distributions are organized and implemented by the Measles Initiative. Measles Initiative partners include the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and UNICEF.

In October 2006, representatives of the campaign traveled to Nigeria to visit with families who had received the first shipment of more than 150,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets. The nets sent to Nigeria were the first of many that will be shipped to Africa through Nothing But Nets.

While malaria has largely been eradicated in the United States, nearly 500 million people are still infected each year, mostly in Africa. More than one million of those infected died from the disease. Seventy-five percent of those deaths are children under five-years old. Every day 25 million pregnant women risk severe illness and harm to their unborn children from a malaria infection.

The most cost-effective and simple approach to combat malaria is through the use of insecticide- treated bed nets, which can prevent malaria transmission by 50 percent. It costs $10 to buy and distribute a bed net and to educate others on its use. Despite the effectiveness of preventing transmission, according to the 2005 World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report, only three percent of children under five in Africa sleep under a bed net.

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Contacts

Rachel Henderson

Communications Manager, Nothing But Nets

rhenderson@unfoundation.org

570.259.2205

 

About Nothing But Nets

Nothing But Nets is the world’s largest grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a disease which claims the life of a child every two minutes. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Nothing But Nets has raised over $60 million to help deliver ten million bed nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions. In addition to raising funds for its UN partners, Nothing But Nets raises awareness and voices to advocate for critical malaria funding for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It only costs $10 to help save lives from this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to defeat malaria.

 

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.

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