Red Cross teams up with the UN Foundation to fight malaria in Tanzania's Nyarugusu refugee camp
GENEVA, Switzerland, July 30, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), together with the Tanzania Red Cross National Society and the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign today launched a joint initiative that will see long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets distributed to more than 68,000 refugees at the Nyarugusu camp in Tanzania.
This launch is part of a malaria control project implemented by the Tanzania Red Cross National Society and supported by Nothing But Nets and the Norwegian Red Cross.
Stephen Curry, of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Golden State Warriors, was on hand for the campaign launch at the Nyarugusu refugee camp in western Tanzania. Curry donated three long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets for every three-pointer he made this past season, during which he set the NBA new record for scoring 270 three-pointers. NBA Cares is a founding partner and active supporter of Nothing But Nets.
Malaria is the single biggest killer disease in the refugee camp, affecting mostly pregnant women and children under the age of five. Between January and April 2013, more than 11,000 malaria cases were recorded, and it was the cause of 60 per cent of consultations at the camp's health centre.
As the lead health service provider to the refugees, the National Red Cross Society is working with the Ministry of Home Affairs, UNHCR and other aid agencies to reduce the burden of malaria in Nyarugusu camp. It will deploy 118 volunteers to distribute long lasting insecticide-treated nets. “We will provide one net for every two people, ensuring we reach everyone in the camp,” said Dr George Nangale, President of the organization. “Our volunteers will also educate refugees on malaria control and prevention measures. This will be followed up by daily household visits by our Health Information Team of volunteers to ensure the bed nets are being used every night.”
“Although malaria is preventable and treatable, it continues to kill nearly 700,000 people globally every year, and Tanzania is one of the worst affected countries in Africa,” said Jason Peat, Senior Health Officer, Malaria, IFRC. “Long lasting insecticide-treated nets work, if used on a nightly basis.”
Since 2002, Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies, in partnership with governments and other organizations, have distributed 16.5 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, protecting more than 29.7 million people and preventing more than 490,000 malaria deaths.
IFRC and the UN Foundation, through its Nothing But Nets campaign, are collaborating with the global Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership. Its goal is to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals and ambitious RBM targets of a 75 per cent reduction in the number of new malaria cases, and near-zero malaria deaths before the end of 2015.