24 November 2009
Johannesburg – The hit television program “Big Brother Africa Revolution” and African private sector companies are supporting the Global Fund’s fight against malaria by contributing funds from a high-profile awareness-raising campaign, undertaken as part of the United Against Malaria campaign. The contributions are particularly significant, marking the first African private sector donations to the Global Fund.
‘United Against Malaria’ is a partnership of influential leaders, organizations, and sporting stars that has joined forces ahead of the historic hosting of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010 to end preventable malaria deaths. All fundraising associated with United Against Malaria will go to the Global Fund for malaria prevention and control in Africa.
“Big Brother Africa Revolution”, now in its fourth season, is a popular reality television series, produced by Endemol South Africa, and seen on M-Net on DStv in 47 countries across Africa. Between November 24th and November 26th, Big Brother Africa Revolution will set tasks for the housemates which will create awareness of malaria prevention. In addition, 50% revenue earned by M-Net and Endemol from SMS messages sent by Big Brother Africa viewers will be channeled to the Global Fund.
‘We are delighted that the African private sector has shown such commitment in efforts to prevent and control the spread of malaria in Africa,’ said Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. ‘Ninety percent of deaths from malaria occur in Africa. African-based companies can have a critical role in saving lives,’ he added.
Through a series of tasks including installing, mending and sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets, Big Brother Africa housemates will be highlighting the critical need and importance of malaria prevention. They will also be tasked with making beaded bracelets in support of United Against Malaria as part of a larger awareness-raising and fundraising initiative led by Africa private sector companies, such as Nando’s and MTN, which will continue after the Big Brother broadcasts. A percentage of revenues raised from all United Against Malaria bracelets sold will be donated to the Global Fund for malaria prevention and control in Africa.
M-Net Africa Director Biola Alabi says, “M-Net believes that this is a vital and necessary initiative and so we are pleased that our Big Brother Revolution series is able to provide a continental platform where information regarding the prevention of malaria in Africa can be highlighted. It is clear that fostering greater education and understanding is key part of the process in preventing the spread of malaria. Further, we wanted to participate in this campaign to make a positive contribution to this worthwhile and critical endeavour.”
Malaria is both preventable and treatable however each day approximately 2,200 Africans die from malaria, 85 percent are children under 5 years of age.
Note for editors
Ninety per cent of malaria deaths occur in Africa. Each day approximately 2,200 Africans die from malaria, 85 percent are children under 5 years of age. Malaria has been estimated to cost Africa more than US$ 12 billion every year in lost GDP, even though it could be controlled for a fraction of that sum. In countries that have conducted mass distribution of bed nets containing insecticides, deaths from malaria have dropped dramatically in a short period of time.
So far, Global Fund supported programmes have distributed 88 million insecticide treated bed nets worldwide. 68.4 million of these bed nets were distributed in Africa. Long-lasting insecticidal nets, like the ones that will be distributed, are recommended by WHO because they remain effective against malaria-carrying mosquitoes for at least three years.
The Global Fund supports programs which deliver services to hundreds of millions of people. As a result, more than 4 million lives have been saved. Every day, 3,000 deaths are averted. Main results include:
To date, the Global Fund has approved grants worth US$ 18.4 billion to 144 countries since its creation in 2002. The Global Fund currently provides a quarter of all international financing for AIDS globally, as well as two-thirds for TB and malaria.
About United Against Malaria
United Against Malaria is a partnership of influential leaders, organizations, and sporting stars that has joined forces ahead of the historic hosting of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010. The objective is to turn the tide on a disease that kills an African child every thirty seconds by the next World Cup in 2014. The campaign aims to change people’s behavior by encouraging families to sleep under nets and take other steps to beat the disease. It also aims to drive concrete action from African corporate and political leaders to tackle malaria in the run up to the World Cup in South Africa. All money raised from the campaign will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for malaria prevention and control in Africa.