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United Methodist Agencies in Nashville Observe Malaria Awareness Day

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
www.umcpresscenter.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2007

Contact: Diane Denton
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell)

United Methodist Agencies in Nashville Observe Malaria Awareness Day
Skip a lunch. Send a net. Save a life.

NASHVILLE The people of The United Methodist Church are using Malaria Awareness Day, April 25, as an opportunity to call attention to the plight of children in Africa, one of whom dies every 30 seconds from malaria.

Malaria is a serious and often fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. The World Health Organization estimates that 300-500 million cases of malaria occur each year.

President George W. Bush has proclaimed April 25 as Malaria Awareness Day in the U.S. in conjunction with the observance of Africa Malaria Day.

The United Methodist Church has a long history of working to fight malaria and other diseases of poverty in Africa. Last year, the people of The United Methodist Church became partners in Nothing But Nets, a global, grassroots campaign to prevent malaria through the purchase and distribution of life-saving mosquito bed nets for children in Africa. Bed nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when most transmissions occur.

Using the theme "Skip a lunch. Send a net. Save a life." for Malaria Awareness Day, members of the denomination are being asked to skip lunch on that day and donate the money saved to Nothing but Nets. A $10 donation goes directly toward the purchase, distribution, and education about the proper use of an insecticide-treated bed net.

"Skipping lunch is something that most everyone can do, especially when you consider that many children in Africa only get one meal a day. For only $10, you can save a child's life," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive at United Methodist Communications in Nashville.

In observance of Malaria Awareness Day, employees of United Methodist agencies in Nashville will gather for a lunchtime event at the United Methodist Publishing House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A short program is planned at 12:00 p.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. A basketball challenge and other activities are planned, and promotional materials will be available. Free soup will be provided so that participants can donate their lunch money to Nothing But Nets.

The Nashville-based Upper Room Living Prayer Center is planning a continuous 24-hour prayer vigil for the children of Africa, for those suffering with malaria, and for global health.

Inspired by Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, thousands of people have joined the Nothing But Nets campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation. So far, the campaign has raised over $4 million; enough money for more than 400,000 nets.

To learn more about how you can help, visit www.NothingButNets.net or www.umc.org/nets.

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