Contact: Suzanne White, Public Affairs Coordinator, Canadian Red Cross, 403-541-6121, email@example.com
"Many babies die here and mine are very small. I wanted a mosquito net for protection from malaria so that my babies can live and grow to be healthy," says Aminasa Bah, a mother of baby twin girls from
Although preventable and treatable, malaria is the leading killer of African children under five – one child dies every 30 seconds. Life-saving bed-nets are a proven and cost-effective way to prevent malaria.
"The desire of parents to want what's best for their kids is universal. The mothers and fathers that I met in
Between November 20 and 26, with support from the Canadian Red Cross, over 4,000 volunteers from the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society distributed free bed-nets at over 900 distribution points throughout the country. Sierra Leone Red Cross volunteers will also be going door-to-door visiting families to assure bed-nets are properly hung over children's beds and to answer any questions about the nets.
"I feel very proud to be a part of this survival strategy. My country depends on these young lives for a strong future. We must protect our children from preventable deaths," says Raymond Alpha, a program officer with the Sierra Leone Red Cross.
Since 2003, with the generous support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Canadian Red Cross Preventing Malaria in Africa campaigns have now distributed over 2.6 million bed-nets to Africa, potentially saving the lives of over 69,000 vulnerable children.
Over the next three years, Canadian Red Cross will also be supporting "Keep Up" activities with recipient families, along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Sierra Leone Red Cross volunteers will visit families regularly to educate and inform them about the importance and availability of regular vaccinations for their children, post-natal clinics, and ways to protect their children from cholera and dysentery.
Canadians wishing to support these activities are encouraged to make a financial donation by donating online at www.redcross.ca, calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "Malaria Bed-Net Campaign" and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office,
The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in