More than 50 Canadian Physicians Are Donating a Day for Africa

Physicians across Canada Take the World Health Day Challenge

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - So far, more than 50 physicians across Canada have signed up to 'Donate a Day for Africa' in support of World Health Day, on April 7th.

These Canadian physicians are demonstrating their commitment to overcoming poverty in Africa by donating part or all of their day's income by signing up for Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief's (CPAR's) 5th Annual World Health Day Challenge.

Physicians from cities including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Ottawa have signed up for the Challenge and will lend their support to building healthy communities in rural Africa.

Dr. Vance Pegado, a physician-based in Burlington, Ontario who donated a day of his income last year, believes that the World Health Day Challenge is an effective way to reach out to communities in rural Africa.

"Always having said that I would give back when I could and finally having done so last year, it was a wonderful feeling," says Dr. Pegado.

"To truly think about how someone far off would benefit from such a project, is all the motivation I need."

The World Health Day Challenge has not only garnered the support of physicians, but a wide variety of health professionals ranging from social workers, to nurses are also participating. These health care professionals believe that the global community has a part to play in supporting health and development beyond the geographic boundaries of their communities - especially in rural Africa.

CPAR's World Health Day Challenge is partly inspired by the efforts of Dr. N. Kevin Wade, a Vancouver-based ophthalmologist who donated an entire day of his medical service payment plans to CPAR in September 2002 and again in September 2005.

"When I saw CPAR's work in Africa first-hand and experienced the health conditions in Blantyre, Malawi during a research project, I knew I wanted to contribute to the cause," says Dr. Wade.

"My responsibilities in Canada to my patients, staff and family would make working in Africa difficult, so I think that donating a day's office income is another way I can help out."

CPAR's primary health care work focuses on reducing the burden of HIV & AIDS through community awareness programs, preventing the spread of common diseases by increasing access to clean water and sanitation facilities, promoting healthy pregnancies and educating communities about sexual and reproductive health issues.

One of the projects that will be supported this year is focused on reducing malaria-related deaths among children under five years of age, pregnant women, and people living with HIV & AIDS.

This year, we want to deliver 1400 treated bed nets to pregnant women and children under five in rural Malawi and an additional 200 bed nets to people living with HIV & AIDS. CPAR will also work with the local government and health officials to implement innovative malaria education programs focused on prevention and control.

CPAR works with local rural African communities to ensure access to clean water, adequate food, primary health care services and a safe and healthy environment.

Founded in 1984, CPAR works in partnership with vulnerable communities and diverse organizations to overcome poverty and build healthy communities in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.

Each year on April 7th, the world celebrates World Health Day. On this day around the globe, thousands of events mark the importance of health in leading a productive life.

Physicians and other supporters can sign-up on www.donateaday.ca

SOURCE CANADIAN PHYSICIANS FOR AID AND RELIEF (CPAR)

For further information: For further information: Media requiring more information: Roxane Tracey, Communications Manager, CPAR, Email: rtracey@cpar.ca, Web: www.donateaday.ca, Tel: (416) 369-0865 ext. 26

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CANADIAN PHYSICIANS FOR AID AND RELIEF (CPAR)

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