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WMD2013PR

WMD2013PR

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Published by InterAction

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Published by: InterAction on Apr 25, 2013
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For Immediate ReleaseDATE : 4/25/2013 Web link:click here
 NetsforLife
® Encourages Communities, Stakeholders to ‘Invest in the Future.Defeat Malaria’
On April 25, World Malaria Day , Episcopal Relief & Development's
 NetsforLife
®malariaprevention program is joining with its partners to celebrate the gains made so far in stoppingthis deadly disease, and call for renewed support from local and international stakeholders toInvest in the Future. Defeat Malaria. Working through local Church and community partners,
 NetsforLife
® has had a majorimpact on malaria insub-Saharan Africa. Theprogram'smethodology of hanging nets in homes has resulted in higher rates of net coverage and a greater reduction in malaria-relateddeaths than the standard distribution method. Although the cost of distributing nets directly to households is higher than positioning them at a fixed collection point, coverage andretention rates are much better when the
 NetsforLife
® methodology is implemented, leadingto a decline in area mosquito populations and a reduction in malaria-related sickness anddeath.“The strengths of our award-winning
 NetsforLife
® model are that we work through localcommunities and physically hang nets above people's sleeping areas,” said Gifty Tetteh,Strategic Outreach Officer for
 NetsforLife
®. “Because we train and work through local volunteers, their neighbors trust them to bring nets into their homes and install them, andlater follow-up visits help ensure that the nets are in place and maintained properly.”In 2012, a study by the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo evaluatedthe effectiveness of the
 NetsforLife
® “hang-up” methodology versus the standard distributionmethod in two villages of comparable size. Net possession rates increased from 30% to 98.6%in the village where the
 NetsforLife
® methodology was used (compared to 88.6% in the other village) and five months later 85.5% of homes still had their nets (compared to 68.5%). Eventhough the
 NetsforLife
® method requires more personnel and resources to implement, itsimpact extends beyond typical outcome statistics. Increased involvement and community engagement gives the program an influence beyond the life span of a single net by creating a
 
“net culture” where malaria prevention is valued and practiced widely.“Because we work through local churches, we intentionally think long term,” said AbagailNelson, Senior Vice President for Programs. “The churches have a deep and lasting presencein the communities, reinforcing the relationships of neighbor helping neighbor, and buildingup knowledge in the communities and the civil society. When individuals, families, andneighbors have the knowledge to prevent malaria, wellness becomes a community effort andall are empowered.Community involvementis the key factor that makes the
 NetsforLife
® methodology somuch more impactful than the standard distribution method. In order to spread the wordabout malaria and encourage people to protect their families with nets, local Malaria Control Agents and
 NetsforLife
® staff plan fun and creative activities that all generations can enjoy.For example, in Liberia,
 NetsforLife
® and its local partners are hosting a World Malaria Day event in Riverness County that includes door-to-door education, dramatic skits about malariaprevention, traditional cultural dancers and a soccer match with
 NetsforLife
® and theNational Malaria Control Program versus the County Health Team. In Mozambique, the Anglican Diocese of Lebombo will distribute 100 nets to pregnant women and children underfive, as well asflood victimsthrough the hospital in Chókwe.“It is wonderful to see the creative ways in which communities are gathering to celebrate theprogress that has been made in the fight against malaria,” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development. “In my visits throughout Africa, I have enjoyed being in theaudience with people watching their friends and neighbors act out skits dramatizing theimportance of installing nets over sleeping areas. The success of 
 NetsforLife
® is grounded inthis kind of community involvement, and I am thankful to all of the staff and volunteers whose tireless efforts are making such a difference.”In the United States, as well, community involvement in supporting
 NetsforLife
® throughthe
 NetsforLife
® Inspiration Fund was key in achieving the campaign's three-year, $5million fundraising goal. Launched after the Episcopal Church’s 2009 General Convention,the
 NetsforLife
® Inspiration Fund was a church-wide, grassroots campaign to educate,engage and unite Episcopalians in the fight against malaria. The campaignexceeded its goalin early 2013, thanks tolocal campaignsrun by congregations, dioceses, schools and seminaries, and the committed generosity of thousands of Episcopalians and other supporters.“The
 NetsforLife
® Inspiration Fund was a tremendous effort on the part of Episcopalians tohelp combat malaria,” said Joy Shigaki, the organization's Senior Director of Advancement, who headed the Church-wide campaign. “Every net that was donated will help preventneedless suffering and death due to this disease, and the program's work to educate peopleabout malaria and early treatment will have a long-lasting impact. I am grateful to everyone

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