Episcopal Relief and Development commemorates World Malaria Day 2008

April 25, 2008

Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is commemorating World Malaria Day April 25. This year’s theme, "a disease without borders," highlights the need for cross-border action and cooperation in malaria prevention efforts.

Malaria, a parasitic disease carried by the anopheles mosquito, takes the largest toll on vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa, though it is also present in Asia, Latin America/the Caribbean, the Middle East and parts of Europe. Despite international efforts to control it, a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds.

ERD is actively fighting the spread of malaria, which infects 500 million people a year and kills over 1 million, mostly children and pregnant women living in Sub-Saharan Africa. ERD's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Inspiration Fund is dedicated to achieving MDG 6 -- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases -- and is in the process of raising $3 million dollars towards this effort.

ERD’s NetsforLife program is a partnership to prevent malaria in 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The partnership is comprised of individual, foundation and corporate sponsors including Standard Chartered Bank, ExxonMobil Foundation, the Starr International Foundation, The White Flowers Foundation and The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.

NetsforLife works in partnership with the Anglican Church and other ecumenical partners in affected communities to distribute long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to the most vulnerable, build awareness about malaria, and train community leaders to teach prevention and treatment methods.

"We know what we have to do," says Stephen Dzisi, technical director of NetsforLife®. "Our ability to reach vulnerable families living 'at the end of the road' is the work of our Church and enables us to contribute to the global effort to eliminate malaria."

Robert W. Radtke, ERD president, and Laura Ellen Muglia, chair of ERD’s Seattle Women’s Development Council, are currently traveling in Zambia, a country ravaged by malaria. They will be spending two days with NetsforLife's Zambezi Expedition to highlight the importance of access to insecticide-treated nets and malaria prevention information for communities living on the riverbanks in extremely remote regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Zambezi Expedition, sponsored by NetsforLife® and the Rollback Malaria Partnership, is a two-month voyage on the Zambezi River to showcase successes and underscore the challenges involved in the fight against malaria across the six countries of the Trans-Zambezi region. It aims to generate government and public support for a Zambezi-wide malaria control strategy that is currently in the making in Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

"I have seen firsthand how these long-lasting mosquito nets can make a difference between life and death from malaria for the poorest of the poor," said Muglia. "Episcopal Relief and Development’s NetsforLife program partnership is successful and effective in reaching those who live where others do not go, in training local communities to use the nets properly and consistently, and in ensuring the most vulnerable -- children, pregnant women, the elderly, those with HIV/AIDS -- are protected from malaria."

More information about the MDGs is available here.

If you'd like to help fight malaria by making a contribution to ERD's To help fight malaria, please make a contribution to Episcopal Relief and Development’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Inspiration Fund click here or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development "MDG Inspiration Fund," P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

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