World Fast Against Malaria


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World Fast Against Malaria

Thursday, May 10, 2007

(PRLEAP.COM) Today, with a continued sense of urgency and desperation, world leaders in the fight against malaria call for a second international day of fasting to focus worldwide attention on the extreme emergency facing billions of people living in malaria infested regions of the world. Participating organizations include Malaria No More, The Malaria Foundation, Roll Back Malaria, Africa Fighting Malaria, Dunk Malaria, The Free Africa Foundation, Hedge Funds vs. Malaria, The "LOVE, HALLIE Foundation," The Buy-A-Net Malaria Prevention Group, The Iyalode Tejuoso Malaria Foundation and The World Swim Against Malaria.

The second annual World Fast Against Malaria will be held on May 10, 2007. Adults all over the world are asked to fast from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm (drinks and medications are allowed). Children are asked to fast from 9:00 am until12:00 pm. 100% of donations related to the fast will go to buy long lasting life-saving nets for $5 per net. To participate in the fast and or sponsor your fast or the fast of others please visit fastagainstmalaria.com

Buying these nets will help augment other malaria control efforts that include modern Artemisia combination drugs, education, sanitation, and the use of insecticides and repellants like DDT.

"Today, people have the chance to fast, donate and save a life. Literally. I did so, and hope you will too," said John Bridgeland, CEO of Malaria No More, "because the lives of millions of children are at stake." Between one and three million people, 90% of whom are children under the age of five, die from Malaria annually – even though it is preventable.

"We are asking so little with the hope that many will embrace our call to action," said Mary Galinski, President of the Malaria Foundation International. "The second World Fast Day Against Malaria on May 10th is a gift to all, a chance to recognize the plight of millions of children suffering and dying of malaria each year and at the same time a day to be thankful that many countries have been freed from malaria. With increased awareness this will be the case in many more parts of the world."

"The World Swim Against Malaria is proud to be the operating partner of the World Fast Day Against Malaria and 100% of the money we raise will buy long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets," noted Rob Mather, Founder of the World Swim Against Malaria. "This will hopefully be a significant step to protect children and their families where malaria is the biggest killer of children and a leading cause of death among mothers. We are proud to leverage our technological and distribution infrastructure to try and save as many lives as possible."

Africa will be dominant recipient of nets as 90% of malaria deaths occur there. “However, we hope as many as possible of the 80 or so countries affected by malaria will benefit also, including countries in Asia and Latin America,” added Dr. George Ayittey, the distinguished economist whose organization, the Free Africa Foundation, is rolling out malaria free zones and clinics in villages throughout Africa. "It takes a village to raise a child," says an African proverb. So too it takes a global village – to fight malaria.

Lance Laifer, a co-Founder of the World Fast Against Malaria, added that the fast day was chosen to commemorate the birth date of Sir Ronald Ross, the man who in the late 19th century succeeded in demonstrating the life-cycle of the parasites of malaria in mosquitoes. This was a very important step in understanding that mosquitoes are the culprits when it comes to malaria transmission. Mr. Laifer also noted the proximity of May 10 to Mother's Day (May 13), because malaria is one of the world's largest killers of mothers, particularly first-time mothers.


W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of The Harvard Medical School. He's been a ship's surgeon, hotel physician and family doctor and later trained in surgery at McGill in Montreal, University of Rochester N.Y. and Harvard. His medical column is published by 60 Canadian newspapers and several in the U.S. He is the author of seven books. Dr. Walker has a medical practice in Toronto. His Web site is: www.mydoctor.ca/gifford-jones. He can be reached at bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

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