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The American Red Cross kicks-off "Fight the Bite" campaign for Malaria Awareness Day
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Ciara Masterson and Michael Oko
 
April 25, 2007

Today, in recognition of the first-ever Malaria Awareness Day in the United States, the American Red Cross launched its "Fight the Bite" campaign against malaria. Over the next two weeks, Red Cross volunteers in more than 50 cities across the country will be carrying out events, such as talent shows, bake sales, information booths, and classroom activities, to raise awareness about malaria.

In Washington DC, hundreds of people attended an event hosted by the Red Cross to show their support for the fight against malaria.  Photo credit: Eric Porterfield
In Washington DC, hundreds of people attended an event hosted by the Red Cross to show their support for the fight against malaria.
Photo credit: Eric Porterfield.

Red Cross staff join the 'Fight the Bite' campaign against malaria. From left: Shannon McNab, Lauren Kramer and Ann Oomwrow.
Red Cross staff join the "Fight the Bite" campaign against malaria. From left: Shannon McNab, Lauren Kramer and Ann Oomwrow. Photo credit: Eric Porterfield.
Photo credit: Eric Porterfield.

In Washington DC, the Red Cross hosted an outdoors event with a South African band. Red Cross staff and volunteers handed out flyers and information sheets to hundreds of people who attended the event.

"The American Red Cross is excited to be joining with our partners around the world to get the word out about this disease," said Luke Greeves, Senior Director of International Programs for the American Red Cross. "We know that together we can improve the lives of millions of people by providing them the means to protect themselves against malaria."

While malaria has been eliminated from the United States, it continues to have a tremendous impact in Africa and other high-risk areas. Each year, malaria affects more than 300 million people, leading to approximately one million deaths.

Lily Jones, Chapter Outreach Coordinator for the American Red Cross, organized the event in Washington and mobilized chapters to get involved.

"Red Cross chapters across the country are eager to promote the new Fight the Bite campaign for Malaria Awareness Day" said Jones. "Our chapters and volunteers are dedicated to helping not only their own communities, but also communities all over the world."

In Africa and other at-risk regions, the American Red Cross is working with partners—such as the President's Malaria Initiative, Malaria No More, the Measles Initiative and others—to combat the spread of malaria by distributing bed nets and by providing training and education about malaria prevention. To date, the American Red Cross and its partners in the Measles Initiative have distributed nearly 20 million bed nets in Africa. Later this year, the Red Cross will support the distribution of an additional 1.3 million bed nets in Madagascar and other countries. Over the next two years, the American Red Cross aims to mobilize thousands of volunteers throughout Africa in order to teach millions of people how to properly and effectively use bed nets.

It costs only $10 to provide a family in Africa with a bed net, including distribution and education. That's $10—less than the cost of a movie—to protect a family against this deadly disease.

As part of the world's largest humanitarian network, the American Red Cross alleviates the suffering of victims of war, disaster and other international crises, and works with other Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to improve chronic, life-threatening conditions in developing nations. We reconnect families separated by emergencies and educate the American public about international humanitarian law. This assistance is made possible through the generosity of the American public.



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