Canadian Red Cross expands campaign against malaria in Africa with support from CIDA

    OTTAWA, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Red Cross is pleased to announce
the expansion of its successful malaria program, which has distributed nearly
2.6 million mosquito nets in six African countries. These activities have been
made possible through the generous support of the Canadian International
Development Agency.
    The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of International Cooperation and
Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages, today announced that
Canada is committing $20 million to the Canadian Red Cross malaria program and
other malaria programs aimed at saving lives in Africa.
    "Through today's investment to the Canadian Red Cross, Canada is
contributing to programs in Africa like the Malaria Bednet Campaign that are
resulting in thousands of lives saved," said Minister Verner. "The Canadian
Red Cross estimates that the bednet program alone will save up to
88,000 people in Africa, mostly children, who would otherwise have died from
malaria or related illnesses. Today's announcement will allow us to continue
the fight against malaria in Africa."
    More than two million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets will be
distributed free-of-charge by thousands of Red Cross volunteers as part of an
integrated child health strategy in Africa. Sleeping under a mosquito net is
one of the most proven and cost-effective ways to prevent malaria. The
mosquito net component of the program will complement other community-based
interventions such as Vitamin A supplements, measles vaccinations, and
de-worming treatments.
    Today's new funding builds upon the Canadian International Development
Agency's previous contribution of $26 million to the Canadian Red Cross to
support similar malaria programming in Africa, while developing new approaches
to frontline malaria treatment. New developments include the training and
deployment of volunteers to diagnose and deliver effective medications to
remote areas.
    "Canadian Red Cross is extremely grateful for this support and for
Canada's continued commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable people
around the world, especially in Africa," says Dr. Pierre Duplessis,
Secretary-General of Canadian Red Cross. "Together, we are supporting proven
and cost-effective initiatives that will address the urgent, unmet needs of
countries that bear a very high burden of malaria."
    Of the more than one million deaths each year that are attributable to
malaria, more than 900,000 occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Annually, malaria
kills more children in Africa than any other disease.

    Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and
185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve
the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada
and around the world.

    High resolution photos and video are available upon request

For further information:

For further information: Canadian Red Cross, Media Relations Office,
(613) 740-1994; Nicole Lascelle, Director of Communications, Office of the
Minister of International Cooperation, (819) 953-6238; Media Relations Office,
Canadian International Development Agency, (819) 953-6534,

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