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Episcopal Relief & Development Commemorates World Malaria Day

To mark World Malaria Day, April 25th, 2009, NetsforLife®, a program partnership of Episcopal Relief & Development, announces its second phase – an initiative to mobilize over 30,000 volunteers and distribute up to 7 million mosquito nets to 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa over the next seven years.

NetsforLife® will reaffirm this pledge at the One World Against Malaria Summit hosted by the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria and the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty in Washington, D.C. this week. The Summit will feature major players in the fight against malaria including United Nations Ambassador, Susan Rice.

NetsforLife® partner, the Rt. Rev. Albert Chama of Zambia will provide details about the work in country. The program partnership will be represented by Executive Director, Shaun Walsh; William Asiko, President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation; Dr. Steven Phillips of Exxon Mobil; Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development and Chairman of the Board of Episcopal Relief & Development, the Rt. Rev. Robert J. O’Neill, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado.

NetsforLife® brings together corporations, foundations, faith-based organizations and private donors in a collaborative initiative focused on eliminating malaria in Africa.

Malaria is one of the biggest killers in sub-Saharan Africa, with a staggering human and economic cost. Transmitted through infected mosquitoes, malaria:

  • Infects 300 to 500 million people every year
  • Kills 3,000 children a day and nearly 1 million people annually
  • Costs an estimated $12 billion in lost productivity in Africa

The distribution of one insecticide-treated net can save three people from malaria. Seven million nets can save 21 million from illness and death. When insecticide-treated nets are properly used by three-quarters of the community, malaria transmission is cut by 50%, child deaths by 20%, and the mosquito population drops by as much as 90%.

The Phase 2 initiative will be the largest distribution of nets yet by NetsforLife® and an unprecedented commitment towards eliminating malaria.

“NetsforLife® is pleased to be one of the key organizations helping to educate and save lives from malaria,” says Shaun Walsh, Executive Director, NetsforLife®. “Our education efforts have helped to raise knowledge about malaria transmission from 50% to 82% in sub-Saharan Africa. Over 11 million people have benefited to date from distribution of the nets. We are now looking forward to reaching even more of those, especially children, most vulnerable to malaria.”

NetsforLife® works with partners to eliminate malaria by distributing insecticide-treated nets and educating local communities in the hardest to reach areas in Africa. Working with community leaders, the program instills a “net culture”- an understanding of the value of nets and the correct way to use and maintain them. Programs also provide access to testing and treatment.

Supported by ExxonMobil Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, the Starr International Foundation and White Flowers Foundation, and NGO partner Episcopal Relief & Development, NetsforLife® implements integrated malaria prevention programming in 17 malaria endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a vibrant network of local churches, faith-based organizations and NGOs.

To make a contribution to help eliminate malaria, please donate to NetsforLife® online at, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief & Development, designated for NetsforLife®/Malaria Fund, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. As an independent 501(c) (3) organization, Episcopal Relief & Development takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Together with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners, Episcopal Relief & Development strengthens communities today to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We rebuild after disasters and empower people by offering lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Link to Episcopal Relief and Development