United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nashville, Tenn. The people of The United Methodist Church will provide nearly 400,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to people throughout the Bo district of southern Sierra Leone beginning November 26.
The United Methodist Churchcontributed $2 million to the effort as part of a larger nationwide net distribution and integrated health campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (National Malaria Program) of Sierra Leone, the International Federation of the Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies (IFRC), the United Nations Foundation, Nets for Life, Helen Keller International, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization. More than 3 million nets will be provided across the country-up to three per household, and children will also be provided Vitamin A supplements and treatments for intestinal worms.
The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria team trained more than 3,700 local health workers to distribute the nets using the "Nets for Life" model. The volunteers will deliver the nets from home to home, working to instill a community-wide understanding of the protective value of nets and the right way to use and maintain them.
"Malaria ranks amongst Africa's number one killer diseases and this bold attempt by The United Methodist Church through its Imagine No Malaria campaign to partner with government and other national and international NGOs to respond to the challenges posed by malaria in Sierra Leone is a step in the right direction," said Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone.
A delegation of United Methodists from the U.S. including representatives from the United Methodist Committee on ReliefandUnited Methodist Communications will travel to Sierra Leone for the net distribution. Updates will be posted throughout the week on www.imaginenomalaria.org.
At the One World Against Malaria Summit in Washington, D.C. on World Malaria Day 2009, The United Methodist Church made a commitment to join in this ambitious effort to cover the entire vulnerable population of Sierra Leone, where the mortality rate for children under age five is the highest in the world.
The complexity involved in planning such a widespread net distribution and the lack of availability of nets required many months to coordinate. Leading up to the event, The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone has been working to share information about malaria prevention and the other interventions.
About Imagine No Malaria
Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary ministry of the people of The United Methodist Church to eliminate death and suffering from malaria in Africa by 2015. With a goal of raising $75 million to improve health infrastructure and empower a sustainable victory over the disease, Imagine No Malaria is our opportunity to rethink how we reach beyond our church, opening doors to those who need it most. For more information, please visit us online at www.ImagineNoMalaria.org.
Photo by Shannon Trilli.