Campaign Seeks To Distribute 700M Bednets In Sub-Saharan Africa By 2015

Several organization led by the WHO have contributed $5 billion for a campaign aimed at distributing 700 million bednets to prevent malaria in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015, the East African reports. The newspaper writes that “[t]he campaign is geared at increasing the use of bednets as the most strategic entry point, using politicians, faith-based organisations and the football stars to promote using nets.” 

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said, “Bednets are the most appropriate. With wider dissemination, we shall achieve our goals, but we need everybody to sleep under a bednet. We promise to do our part and so should everybody.” According to the WHO, nearly half of the world’s population are at risk of contracting malaria, a disease that kills about one million people every year in Africa.

“Malaria can be brought to its knees. We have raised $5 billion to fully cover almost everybody under bednets, use residual spraying and ensure that all public facilities are fully stocked with” artemisinin-based combination therapies, Ray Chambers, the U.N. special envoy for malaria, said.

According to the East African, “The decision to champion bednets ahead of the other two strategies stems from the successful incidence of malaria reduction in Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Eritrea and Zanzibar – which recorded no malaria deaths thanks to a similar bednets campaign.” WHO officials said they expect more firms to begin producing bednets, which would lower the cost. Details of bednet production will be finalised at the upcoming African Leaders Malaria Alliance conference later this month (Nakkazi, 9/7).

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