Comic Relief and Malaria No More UK join forces in Ghana6th April 2010
Malaria No More UK and Comic Relief are making their first joint investment in Ghana thanks to funds raised from the British public. This investment will provide crucial education and behaviour change programmes to accompany the distribution of nets to 600,000 households. Each net can protect two people from catching malaria for up to five years, so this will be a crucial contribution to protecting thousands of lives, especially women and children as correct net use is shown to dramatically cut the number of malaria cases in half in many areas in Africa.
Malaria No More UK and Comic Relief are supporting NetsforLife, an organisation working with the National Malaria Control Programme in Ghana where malaria is the number one cause of illness and is responsible for one-third of all deaths in children under five. The funding will specifically help ensure over 600,000 households have access to education to help them understand how to prevent malaria, with a focus on usage of life saving bed nets and also how to seek treatment for malaria symptoms. The project includes a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system devised with the help of the Swiss Tropical Institute. Recent programmes already using this approach have increased bed net use from less than 20% to over 90%: among the highest rates of net use in Africa.
The last 12 months have seen the British public lend their support to fighting malaria like never before thanks to the launch of Malaria No More UK in April 2009 and dedicated ‘Malaria Hours’ of programming by Comic Relief, first introduced for Red Nose Day 2009 and then again for Sport Relief 2010.
Andy Murray is on the Leadership Counsel for Malaria No More UK and also featured in a sketch with James Cordon to support this year’s Sport Relief. Andy says: “It’s great to see these two charities combining forces on such an important issue. People in Africa are still dying from a disease that we know how to prevent and treat. Thanks to the work of charities like Malaria No More UK and Comic Relief, it’s easy for us to make a difference and support this effort. I hope we can all look back and say we were a part of making malaria no more”.
Fearne Cotton said: “I’ve seen firsthand the devastation malaria can cause and just how simple it is to help stop it. It’s great that these two charities have come together to help tackle such an important issue. Thanks to money raised by the British public thousands of people in Ghana will be able to sleep more soundly knowing they are protected from malaria.”
Doctor Stephen Dzisi, Technical Director of Netsforlife added: “It is great that two of the UK’s leading charities are providing such strong support for the people of Ghana. The contributions from Malaria No More UK and Comic Relief has helped fund NetsforLife’s largest ever bed net education campaign and there’s huge excitement on the ground in Ghana.”
Sarah Kline, Executive Director of Malaria No More UK said: “We’re delighted to combine forces with Comic Relief in order to maximise our efforts to help save lives in Ghana. I just returned from Ghana where I met women and children who recently received bed nets and are now sleeping safely at night. We are very excited to be part of a programme of malaria control in Ghana and helping to protect so many people from malaria.
Kevin Cahill, CEO of Comic Relief, said: “Thanks to the immense support of the British public, Comic Relief and Malaria No More UK can now spend the money to make sure over 600,000 households in Ghana are using their bed nets properly. In Africa a child is killed every 30 seconds by malaria. This grant brings us one step closer to ending these tragic deaths.”