US: Church exceeds anti-malaria fundraising goal

Fundraising efforts by the US Episcopal Church have helped its NetsforLife programme surpass a $5million goal towards the fight against malaria.

The programme, run by Episcopal Relief and Development, has distributed over 11 million mosquito nets in sub-Saharan African communities in the last seven years. Areas that have received the nets have experienced a 45% reduction in malaria-related deaths.

In addition to distributing nets, the programme has trained 82,000 community malaria agents who in turn are delivering the life-saving nets and educating others about malaria prevention practices and proper net use.

Congregations, schools and church-related organisations have been fundraising intensively over the last two years to help NetsforLife reach its $5million goal.

NetsforLife's Laura Ellen Muglia said: "Knowing that the mosquito nets distributed will mean children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, cousins, whole communities, will have a life without malaria, a new life of many possibilities, a life of hope."

"I can't think of any other single effort that has so united our diocese in a common mission and effort. The campaign provided a renewed focus on the work of the MDGs and rallied amazing talent and leadership from parishes large and small," said the Right Reverend Michael Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and co-chair of the national NetsforLife Inspiration Fund Campaign Advisory Committee.