April 17, 2007 09:37 ET

CIDA: Canada Leads Efforts to Provide Life-Saving Malaria Bednets to Africa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 17, 2007) - The Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages, today announced that Canada is committing $20 million to the Canadian Red Cross to support activities such as bednet campaigns and other malaria programs aimed at saving lives in Africa.

"Through today's investment to the Canadian Red Cross, Canada is contributing to programs in Africa like the Malaria Bednet Campaign that are resulting in thousands of lives saved," said Minister Verner. "The Canadian Red Cross estimates that the bednet program alone will save up to 88,000 people in Africa, mostly children, who would otherwise have died from malaria or related illnesses. Today's announcement will allow us to continue the fight against malaria in Africa."

Canada takes a comprehensive approach to preventing and controlling malaria. Today's new funding builds upon the Canadian International Development Agency's successful programs with the Canadian Red Cross, while developing new approaches to frontline malaria treatment. New developments include the training and deployment of volunteers to diagnose and deliver effective medications to remote areas.
"Canadian Red Cross is extremely grateful for this support and for Canada's continued commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable people around the world, especially in Africa, says Dr. Pierre Duplessis, Secretary-General of Canadian Red Cross. "Together, we are supporting proven and cost-effective initiatives that will address the urgent, unmet needs of countries that bear a very high burden of malaria."

More than two million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito bednets will be distributed free-of-cost as part of an integrated package of child health interventions in Africa. The bednet component of the program will complement other community-based, child-health interventions such as Vitamin A supplementation campaigns, measles vaccinations, and de-worming treatment.

Today's new funding builds upon the Canadian International Development Agency's previous contribution of $26 million to the Canadian Red Cross to support similar malaria programming in Africa.

Of the more than one million deaths each year that are attributable to malaria, more than 900,000 occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Annually, malaria kills more children in Africa than any other disease.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Nicole Lascelle
    Director of communications
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    Canadian Red Cross
    Media Relations Office