Spread The Net

Spread The Net

February 01, 2007 10:55 ET

Spread The Net: With Valentine's coming What will you do? One Net. 10 Bucks. Says "I love you!"

Skip the roses and the chocolates this year... instead for 10 bucks buy an anti-malarial bednet to protect children in Africa. www.spreadthenet.org

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 1, 2007) -

Attention Valentine's Day Aficionados, Assignment Editors, Lifestyle Editors, Entertainment Editors

Looking for the perfect and unique way to show you care this Valentine's Day? Skip the roses and chocolates this year and buy a bednet on behalf of your loved ones, teachers, and babysitters, and give a gift that matters for Valentine's Day - or any day! A $10 donation to Spread the Net.org is enough to buy an anti-malaria bednet that can protect a child for up to five years from mosquitoes carrying malaria. And with your donation you can request a funky card to sign with all of your Valentine's x's and o's.

"Every 30 seconds a child in Africa dies of malaria," said Belinda Stronach, MP Newmarket-Aurora and co-founder of Spread the Net. "A donation to Spread the Net.org is a simple and effective way to be part of the solution - what better gift to give this Valentine's Day than a bednet that can help African parents provide their children with protection from serious illness and possibly death."

"So here's the thing - a dozen roses at Valentine's Day costs the same as 7 bednets (and no GST and PST) ! The roses wilt in a couple of days or you can buy 7 nets that can protect 35 kids in Africa for up to five years!" said Spread the Net co-founder Rick Mercer. "Even the gift of one $10 bednet makes a difference. Now that'll get you a lot of love from your Valentine..."

Spread the Net is an innovative partnership with UNICEF Canada with the goal of helping prevent the spread of malaria among African children by raising the funds to purchase 500,000 insecticide-treated bednets at the cost of $10 each over the next two years. For each donation to Spread the Net you can request that UNICEF Canada send you a funky Spread the Net recognition card that can be personalized and then given as a symbol of the donation.

"Malaria kills 3,000 children a day," said Nigel Fisher, President & CEO of UNICEF Canada. "Each one of us can help to reduce that grim number. What more memorable gift to give someone you care for than a bednet that can protect young children and their families while they are sleeping. It's a simple way to make a very important difference".

Every year there are between 350 and 500 million cases of malaria in the world - the vast majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa, and most of those among children. Malaria is the largest single cause of death among African children less than five years of age, claiming more than one million young lives every year. Those who survive the infection can be severely debilitated for life. Insecticide-treated bednets are hung over beds to keep out malarial mosquitoes. They are an inexpensive and highly effective tool for preventing the spread of malaria. Properly used, bednets can reduce malaria transmission by up to 50 per cent and deaths of children by 20 per cent.

Spread the Net bednets will be distributed in Liberia and Rwanda for the first stage of the program through UNICEF.

Spread the Net is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, groups and corporate citizens to make a financial contribution - big or small - toward the purchase of insecticide-treated bednets - critical tools in the prevention of malaria. Contributions can be made via www.spreadthenet.org; by calling 1-800-567-4483. Valentine's Day is coming! Help spread the word and Spread the Net.

For more information on Spread the Net visit www.spreadthenet.org.

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