May 19, 2009 14:45 ET

Government of Canada Announces Renewed Partnership With Save the Children to Fight Malaria and Pneumonia

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today announced new funding to support malaria and pneumonia treatment initiatives in developing countries through Save the Children. The organisation's Community-based Treatment for Malaria and Pneumonia program will train community health workers in developing countries to deliver presumptive treatment of fever, which is the treatment of suspected cases. Since this approach focuses on symptoms and does not require diagnostic testing, it could save more lives at a lower cost. The funding announced today, valued at $20 million, responds to development priorities identified by partner countries.

Minister Kent made the announcement on behalf of the International Cooperation, Minister Beverley J. Oda, at an event to congratulate the organisation on its work and to mark its 90th anniversary. "Over the decades, Save The Children has been a trusted partner of the Canadian people to assist children and their families in developing countries, who are most in need," Minister Kent said. "They have been the voice of children and through their work have identified the problems and taken real action to make a difference."

"This new contribution is an example of an effective aid program that will make a difference and directly benefit approximately 1,100,000 children under five. This initiative of Save The Children is expected to save up to 45,000 children's lives."

Save the Children has had many successes in implementing programs for children's rights, emergency relief, education, child health and nutrition and child protection.



The grant of $20 million for the Save the Children program will help treat severe fevers due to suspected malaria and pneumonia. The program, estimated to save up to 45,000 lives, will train and equip community health workers to identify severe fever and deliver effective treatment.

The program focuses on a community-based approach, delivering life-saving treatment to children in or near their home. The treatment will be delivered to children within the first 24-48 hours, which is crucial to avert death. The program aims to reinforce the health system by upgrading the skills of health workers in order to recognize and treat malaria and pneumonia.

With a significant overlap of symptoms of malaria and pneumonia in children, it is difficult to distinguish between the two diseases. Fever is the most common symptom for both. The trained health workers will be able to identify severe fever and will then deliver free high-quality antibiotics and other treatments.

This program will be implemented in countries with high under-five mortality rates, low per-capita-GDP and a high prevalence of the two diseases, as well as health policies that favour community-based programs.

Save the Children will be the implementing organization of this program and will partner with national Ministries of Health, non-governmental organizations, and other local health partners. Save the Children has major health portfolios already established in many developing countries, focused on children under five and women of reproductive age.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Michelle Coates
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office