Working Together to Fight Malaria in Africa
Nothing But Nets Campaign Announces New Commitments from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the NBA, and VH1
New York; Washington, DC — January 4, 2007
Nothing But Nets, a campaign to fight malaria in Africa by delivering insecticide-treated nets (bed nets), announced today that it has received its first-ever malaria challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant was announced at an event hosted by the National Basketball Association, one of the campaign’s founding partners.
“Nothing But Nets provides an opportunity for communities everywhere to get involved in malaria prevention,” said Regina Rabinovich, Director of Infectious Diseases at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “We hope that this challenge grant will encourage others to take the simple step of sending a net and saving a life. Working together, we have the power to prevent this terrible disease from spreading.”
The challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match, dollar for dollar, up to $3 million in individual contributions to Nothing But Nets. It will be utilized by the campaign to procure and distribute bed nets through the United Nations-led Measles Initiative.
“We’re grateful to the Gates Foundation for their support of this campaign. Nothing But Nets demonstrates how easy it is for one person to make a difference,” said Kathy Bushkin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, United Nations Foundation. “Under the leadership of the United Nations, the Measles Initiative has emerged quickly as a major supplier of bed nets to some of the neediest countries in Africa. We are delighted that so many individuals are now involved in this powerful initiative.”
New Commitments from the NBA and VH1
Representatives from the NBA and VH1 also announced their 2007 commitments to the campaign. The event also featured Lynda Commale and her six-year-old daughter, Katherine, who were honored for raising more than $10,000 for Nothing But Nets from their family, friends, and community at the Hopewell United Methodist Church outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“The NBA is proud to be a part of this campaign – our teams and players understand the responsibility we have to help improve the quality of life in our local communities and those around the world. Nothing But Nets is an easy but impactful way for all of us to save lives.” said Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President for Community and Player Programs.
The NBA hosted the Nothing But Nets partnership announcements at their store on Fifth Avenue and in advance of the January 5 New Jersey Nets vs. Chicago Bulls game, the first of more than 20 in-arena awareness nights that will take place in 2007 at NBA and WNBA games. Behrens also announced that African Luol Deng (Sudan) of the Chicago Bulls and DeSagana Diop (Senegal) of the Dallas Mavericks, as well as Kyle Korver of the Philadelphia 76ers, Ruth Riley of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock, and NBA Legend Sam Perkins, have agreed to act as spokespeople for the campaign.
“When people learn more about malaria and hear about Nothing But Nets, they are inspired to act,” said Tom Calderone, Executive Vice President, General Manager of VH1. “Together with all the partners, we’re going to help broaden the reach of this campaign and highlight the work that is being done on the ground to help save the lives of children and families in Africa.”
In 2007, VH1 will generate awareness by creating and airing a public service announcement about the Nothing But Nets initiative that will air on VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, and VH1.com. The network will also produce and air a VH1 News segment on malaria and Nothing But Nets.