Belinda Stronach Endorses "Business Case" for Malaria Control



    AURORA, ON, Jan. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - As national Co-Chair of Spread the
Net, Belinda Stronach today endorsed and supported the call made today at the
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland for a rapid scale-up of malaria
prevention and treatment measures in the 30 hardest hit countries in Africa.
    This call was contained in a report entitled "We Can't Afford to Wait:
The Business Case for Rapid Scale-up of Malaria Control in Africa," prepared
by Malaria No More and McKinsey & Company. Drawing on rigourous and compelling
business analysis, the report argues for expanded access to proven
malaria-control tools such as long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets,
life-saving anti-malarial medicines, and targeted insecticide spraying.
    "I urge all Canadians and our politicians with a humanitarian interest in
seeing disease and suffering reduced in Africa to pay attention to this
important initiative. 3.5 million lives are at stake over the next 5 years,"
said Stronach. "If we can really tackle malaria in a systematic and organized
way, the numbers are staggering - rapid scale-up would increase annual
economic output in Africa by as much as $30 billion, prevent 672 million
malaria cases, and free up 427,000 needed hospital beds over five years."
    With new tools and expanded funding, success stories are emerging across
sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Current spending on malaria control in Africa is roughly $1 billion a year.
Prevention and treatment measures could be brought to scale in the 30 African
countries that together account for roughly 90 percent of global malaria
deaths for approximately $2.2 billion a year over five years, the report
concludes.
    This international mobilization will be coordinated, in part, through the
Malaria Implementation Support Team (or MIST) of the Roll Back Malaria
partnership.
    "Our campaign Spread the Net (www.spreadthenet.org) is conducted jointly
with our partner UNICEF Canada, to provide anti-mosquito bed nets and is a key
component in these bigger global efforts as well as a place where Canadians
who want to end malaria can contribute," stated Stronach.
    "For anyone looking for a sound business case for investing in child
health and survival, here is one. Not only does malaria threaten the health
and lives of millions of children, it is also a huge burden on the health
systems of malaria-endemic countries," said Nigel Fisher, President & CEO,
UNICEF Canada. "By taking decisive and proven action against the disease, we
can eliminate the heavy burden on countries and strengthen health systems."

    About Spread the Net

    Spread the Net is a hip, viral, largely web-based campaign designed to
educate, motivate and inspire Canadians to help eradicate malaria by
fundraising to support the purchase and distribution of bed nets.
    Spread the Net was founded in November 2006, by Belinda Stronach and
comedian Rick Mercer and is powered by an innovative partnership with UNICEF
Canada.

    For more information about Spread the Net please visit
    www.spreadthenet.org

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF is the world's leader for children, working in 156 countries and
territories to save, protect and enhance the lives of girls and boys. UNICEF
supports child health and nutrition, promotes quality basic education,
protects children from violence, exploitation and AIDS, and is the world's
largest provider of vaccines for developing nations. A global leader in
emergencies with six decades of on-the-ground experience, UNICEF saves and
rebuilds children's lives in natural disasters and conflict. UNICEF is funded
entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations,
schools, associations and governments.




For further information:

For further information: Greg MacEachern, Office of Belinda Stronach,
Co-Chair Spread The Net, (613) 882-5533; Martin Edlund, Malaria No More, (917)
224-3563; Download the full report here: www.malarianomore.org/businesscase;
Karen Snider, Media Relations Officer, UNICEF Canada, (416) 482-4444, x831

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BELINDA STRONACH

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SPREAD THE NET

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