People of faith set sights on eradicating malaria

Published 21 April 2010
More than 250 people of faith gathered at Holy Trinity Brompton church on Monday night to learn more about malaria.

Despite the preventable nature of the disease, around one million people still die from malaria each year.

Night Under Nets is one of a number of events taking place to raise awareness of malaria around World Malaria Day on Sunday.

Organisers the Tony Blair Foundation, the Faiths Act Fellows, Malaria No More UK and Sumitomo Chemical, the company behind the anti-malaria Olyset Net, said action had to be taken now if the UN was to meet its goal of universal anti-malaria bed net coverage by the end of the year.

Rwandan High Commissioner to the UK, Ernest Rwamucyo, told of successful measures introduced by the Rwandan government to reduce the number of deaths from malaria, including training local community health workers and educating people about how to use a bed net effectively.

The evening was hosted by Sky News presenter Lukwesa Burak, who contracted malaria as a child after a boat she was in capsized on the Zambezi River.

“We were delighted to be able to mark World Malaria Day at Holy Trinity Brompton. It is essential that we work together to bring an end to the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by this entirely preventable disease,” said Nicky Gumbel, vicar at Holy Trinity Brompton.

Funds raised on the night were matched by Tony Blair, bringing the total raised to £5,000. The amount will go towards leading charities in the fight against malaria, Malaria No More UK and Project Muso Ladamunen, an anti-pverty charity set up by Brown University students and alumni.

“Together we can turn the tide on around one million entirely preventable deaths,” said Blair. “This disease ravages some of the poorest people in the world - those who cannot afford the £5 that it would take to protect themselves and their family.

“My foundation’s Faiths Act programme and events such as Night Under Nets presents the opportunity for people of all faiths to come together, have fun and learn what we all can do to end it.”

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