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Director of the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Campaign Commends Steep Decline in Malaria Deaths in Africa

Helfrich thanks partners and supporters for pushing back the clock on malaria deaths

Washington, DC —   December 16, 2011

Following the release of the World Health Organization's World Malaria Report, Chris Helfrich, director of the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets -- a global, grassroots campaign to fight malaria in Africa -- released the following statement:

"Over the past five years, the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign has built the world’s largest grassroots network of partners and supporters to protect families in Africa from malaria. I am encouraged to see proof in the World Malaria Report 2011 that this support is saving lives. The report released by our partners at the World Health Organization this week states malaria mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa have dropped by more than 33 percent since 2000. 

To reduce the number of malaria deaths by one-third in one decade is an extraordinary achievement, due in large part to better access to long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets. According to the new report, half of households in sub-Saharan Africa now have at least one bed net, and 96 percent of people with access to a net use it. Bed nets remain one of the most inexpensive and effective tools in the fight against malaria. Families use nets because they work.

The results mean we've pushed back the clock even further -- a child now dies every 60 seconds from malaria, in contrast to only two years ago when the rate was every 30 seconds. Incredible progress in a short span of time, but one child every minute still means far too many children are dying from malaria.

Bed nets save lives and we need to make sure every family in Africa has the nets they need. Our thanks to supporters around the world who have raised nearly $40 million to help Nothing But Nets and its UN partners deliver more than 6 million nets to families in 25 African countries. We need to build on this momentum to reach the global goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015.

Anyone can join us in the fight against malaria. Go to www.NothingButNets.net to take action now."

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About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.

About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.  We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org

 
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