Blue Ribbon Campaign Launched by Malaria Foundation International to End Malaria

Staff Writers | 13 Nov 2006
PR Newswire
Who could object? Malaria finally has a symbol representing the fight against this deadly disease, which kills 3,000 people each day. Business leaders and community groups are called to action. This is no longer a silent disease. "We are gaining momentum, and no one will want to be left out. Everyone counts who is suffering from this disease, and everyone counts who can help rid the world of this scourge", said Dr. Mary Galinski, Founder and President of the Malaria Foundation International (MFI) and a Professor of Medicine and Global Health at Emory University, Atlanta GA.

"We welcome this symbol as a rallying point for the partnerships and coordinated effort needed to win the global fight against malaria," said Dr. Laurence Slutsker, Chief of the Malaria Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Admiral Timothy Ziemer, Coordinator of the President's Malaria Initiative, said "We wholeheartedly support the Malaria Foundation International's Launch of a Blue Ribbon Campaign to End Malaria. The world now has a universal symbol, which we hope will bring unity among the growing number of individuals and organizations working to fight malaria."

The President's Malaria Initiative is investing $1.2 billion to fight malaria in 15 countries in Africa. A Malaria Summit will be held in the Washington DC area in December, and the MFI will be sure that Blue Ribbons are presented as a gift to all participants.

Over 100 countries have malaria as a persistent problem, and the Blue Ribbon is hoped to be a sign of increasing attention and the world's dedicated drive against this disease. Over half of humanity lives at risk of this disease, transmitted by the bite of a mosquito, and there are an estimated 500 million clinical cases of malaria annually.

"Malaria afflicts people across the globe and particularly Africa, with an African child dying of it every 30 seconds", said Dr. Kamini Mendis, a member of the MFI's International Board, and a scientific leader in the World Health Organization's Global Malaria Programme. Dr. Mendis added, "Malaria is both preventable and treatable, and we depend on the good work of individuals across the globe to ensure that prevention and care is delivered promptly and effectively. The malaria parasite fights back, and so we constantly need research and development on new tools and methods to fight this disease. We applaud MFI for making more people aware of malaria and its effects - this is critical to our joint cause against malaria". The Global Malaria Programme is recognized for its strong leadership, under the direction of Dr. Arata Kochi, who has become a global supporter for the effective use of DDT indoor residual spraying and Artemisinin combination therapy (ACTs) to prevent and control malaria infections. Other important tools to control the spread of the disease include the use of insecticide treated nets, the reduction of mosquito vector populations, the improvement of health infrastructures, timely diagnosis with effective treatment and education.

Dr. Wilbur Milhous, Chief Scientific Officer for Therapeutics at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research in Silver Spring, MD and the current Chairman of MFI's International Board added, "We at the MFI are honored to officially launch this initiative in Atlanta at the 55th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, being held from November 12-16, 2006 at the Marriott Marquis, with the distribution of inaugural Blue Ribbon pins saying End Malaria to all participants. We will then look forward to bringing this campaign to the second annual Malaria Business Leadership Conference (MBLC) to be held at Emory University's Law School on December 5, 2006 and then to Washington DC at the time of the Malaria Summit".

The Malaria Foundation International is the 2006 recipient of a Special Media Tenor Award, which comes with one year of assistance from an expert team of professionals from Media Tenor (MediaTenor.com). The Launch of Blue Ribbons coincides with the release of a special new MFI logo designed by Media Tenor for this occasion, to assist the Foundation in launching the Blue Ribbons as a universal symbol for the fight against malaria. This along with regular updates can be viewed at the Malaria Foundation's recently revitalized website, www.malaria.org; thanks to Emory University's Student Coalition for Empowering Emerging Nations (SCEEN).

The Malaria Foundation International's mission is to facilitate the development and implementation of solutions to the health, economic and social problems caused by malaria. It is hoped the Blue Ribbon will remain a longstanding symbol to keep raising attention and bringing a great number of people and resources behind this cause, and with much needed team spirit.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Wilbur Milhous, Chairman, International Board, MFI
Dr. Cindy Korir, African Liaison, MFI
Dr. Esmeralda VS Meyer, South American Liaison, MFI
Ms. Colleen McClean - MFI student representative
Ms. Debra Prosnitz - MFI student representative

Dr. Mary Galinski, Founder & President, MFI
Cell #: 770-891-1604; E-mail: mary.galinski@emory.edu

Added Notes: The Malaria Foundation International is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that has been dedicated to the fight against malaria since 1992. The MFI's goals are to support awareness, education, training, research, and leadership programs for the immediate and long term development and application of tools to combat malaria. The MFI works in partnership with individuals and groups who have joined this cause. The MFI's primary logo, a globe delicately embraced by two hands, shows all the areas of the world where malaria is prevalent. This reflects the Foundation's slogan, Embracing Humanity Worldwide.

All of the above named individuals will be present at the ASTMH meeting, November 12-16, at the Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA, and available for comment. Additional MFI Board members and spokespeople will also be present and possibly also available for discussions.

http://www.pr.com/press-release/22497