Join the fight against the world's deadliest creature

Mosquitoes that transmit diseases like malaria are responsible for more deaths each year than snakes, sharks or crocodiles; Plan Canada's Spread the Net campaign urges Canadians to help stop them

TORONTO, June 5, 2015 /CNW/ - It's mosquito season in Canada. Here, mosquitoes are generally considered little more than a nuisance, but did you know that the mosquito is actually the world's deadliest creature? Bites from malaria-infected mosquitoes led to the deaths of an estimated 584,000 people in 2013, with 90 per cent of those in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most were children. But there is hope: insecticide-treated bed nets can stop mosquitoes in their tracks, and Plan Canada's Spread the Net is urging Canadians to join the fight.

As part of the campaign, an interactive exhibit on display at the Toronto Eaton Centre on June 5 gives visitors an up-close look at mosquitoes – contained – and an opportunity to learn more about malaria and its link to mosquitoes. Canadians can also join the fight by providing an insecticide-treated bed net to a family in Africa through Plan Canada's Spread the Net campaign.

"Protecting people from mosquitoes is the most cost-efficient and effective way of fighting malaria. One bed net can protect two people for up to three years," said Adam Graham, Senior Program Manager at Plan Canada. "Mosquitoes are most active at night, and so children and families are most vulnerable when they sleep. Bed nets save lives – WHO data shows that they reduce child deaths from malaria by 20 per cent."

The global fight against malaria is working. The WHO reports that since 2000, the number of people dying from malaria has fallen by 47 per cent, and an estimated 4.2 million lives have been saved as a result of malaria interventions, which include the distribution of bed nets. That's a global success story that points to the effectiveness of bed nets, among other malaria prevention activities.

"Fighting malaria has been an important part of Plan's work for decades, and we are making strides globally. But much more remains to be done to eradicate this terrible disease," Graham added.

While the bulk of Plan's malaria prevention efforts are focused on distributing bed nets and training families on their use, Plan also trains community health workers in malaria prevention, detection and treatment and ensures pregnant women have access to antimalarial medicines. Plan also works to raise awareness on how to prevent malaria in schools and provides equipment to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of malaria.

Participate in Plan Canada's Spread the Net campaign and be a part of the global movement to end malaria. Your $10 donation goes towards the purchase and distribution of a long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net to a family in Africa. Visit for more information.

About Plan

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world's oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan's global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit and for more information.

About Spread the Net

Spread the Net is a grassroots campaign led by Plan Canada designed to motivate, educate and inspire Canadians to help end preventable malaria deaths by raising funds and awareness to support the purchase and distribution of mosquito bed nets to families in Africa. Spread the Net was founded in 2006 by Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer, becoming an initiative of Plan Canada in July 2013. Visit for more information.

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SOURCE Plan Canada

Image with caption: "Children look at an installation of more than 12,000 live mosquitoes at the Toronto Eaton Centre for Plan Canada’s Spread the Net campaign, a global movement to end malaria. To learn more visit Photo credit: Angie Torres-Ramos/Plan Canada (CNW Group/Plan Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases contribute to nearly 1 million deaths a year. Join Plan Canada's Spread the Net campaign and be a part of the global movement to end malaria: (CNW Group/Plan Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: Media contacts: Jennifer Ouellette, C: 647-520-8593; Angie Torres-Ramos, Plan Canada, T: 416-920-1654 ext. 244,


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