07 February 2017
NIAMEY, Niger - CRuSh Malaria, a campaign to expand access to antimalarial medication for children in Niger, was launched today by Catholic Relief Services, a key partner in global health.
CRuSh Malaria aims to reduce the number of malaria cases among children under five by 60 percent by 2020. It aims to raise US$5 million from individuals, Catholic youth communities and parishes to support efforts by the Global Fund to end malaria.
CRuSh Malaria was inaugurated in Niamey by H.E. Bazoum Mohamed, acting Prime Minister of Niger; Sean Callahan, CEO and President of Catholic Relief Services (CRS); and Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. CRS has implemented malaria programs in Niger since 2006, with support from the Global Fund, and is now bringing its grassroots fundraising capacity to support the Global Fund's mission.
"It is not acceptable that a preventable disease continues to cause so much suffering in countries like Niger. Joining with the Global Fund greatly expands our capacity to fight malaria," said Mr. Callahan, CEO and President of CRS. "It brings us one step closer to our shared goal of ending the malaria epidemic by 2030."
CRuSh Malaria will provide lifesaving prevention medication called seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) to children. SMC is a cost-effective method that has led to a dramatic decline in malaria cases. The treatment is given to children before the peak malaria season, and can be easily administered by community health workers in remote communities, making it a sustainable approach in rural areas.
"CRS has been remarkable in mobilizing people to help save lives across the world," said Dr. Dybul. "We are delighted to see CRS taking up an extra challenge - raising and contributing money to the Global Fund partnership. With sustained investments, we can keep children safe and end this disease for good."
Malaria has a devastating effect on communities across Africa. According to the 2016 World Malaria Report, Niger had 5.2 million cases of malaria and 10,000 deaths in 2015. Most of those deaths were among children under five. Faith-based organizations are important partners of the Global Fund. They have been instrumental in serving hard-to-reach communities and played a critical role in both implementation of Global Fund-supported programs and in advocating for more resources for the organization's mission.