Today, with a great sense of urgency and desperation, the world leaders in the fight against malaria including, but not limited to, The Malaria Foundation, Africa Fighting Malaria, Dunk Malaria, The Free Africa Foundation, Hedge Funds vs. Malaria, The World Swim Against Malaria, the UN Foundation and Be the Cause have called for an international day of fasting day to focus worldwide attention on the emergency facing billions of people living in malaria infested regions of the world. The International Fast day Against Malaria (IFAM) will be held on May 11, 2006. Adults all over the world are asked to fast from 9:00am until 6:00pm (drinks and medications are allowed). Children are asked to fast from 9:00am until 12:01pm. To participate in the fast and or sponsor your fast or the fast of others please visit www.worldswimformalaria.com/ifam.
Between one and three million people, 90% of who are children under the age of five, die from Malaria each year even though it is preventable. "We are asking so little with the hope that many will embrace our call to action." stated Mary Galinski, President of the Malaria Foundation International. The first International Fast Day Against Malaria on May 11th is a gift to all, a chance to recognize the plight of millions of children suffering and dying of malaria each year and at the same time a day to be thankful that many countries have been freed from malaria. With increased awareness this will be the case in many more parts of the world."
"The World swim for Malaria is proud to be the operating partner of the International Fast Day Against Malaria and 100% of the money we raise will buy long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets" noted Rob Mather, Founder of the World Swim for Malaria. "This will hopefully be a significant step to protect children and their families where malaria is the biggest killer of children and a leading cause of death among mothers. We are proud to be leveraging our technological and distribution infrastructure to try and save as many lives as possible." Africa will be dominant recipient of nets as 90% of malaria deaths occur there but we hope as many as possible of the 80 or so countries affected by malaria will benefit also, including countries in Asia and Latin America.
Dr. George Ayittey, the distinguished economist whose organization, the Free Africa Foundation, is rolling out malaria free zones in villages throughout Africa pointed out that, "It takes a village to raise a child," says an African proverb. So too it takes - a global village -- to fight malaria.
Kevin Starace, Childrens Health Officer for the United Nations Foundation said, "Sacrificing food and nutrients for a 24 hour period doesn't come close to living in fear of a deadly disease on a daily basis. What this does is awaken us to the concept of depravity and extreme poverty. This is my conscious decision, as a fortunate person, to do this for malaria - but billions people in this world don't have any choice."
Dr. Ken Shubin Stein , one of the leaders of Hedge Funds vs. Malaria and a co-founder of the International Fast Against Malaria said, "The world needs to recognize malaria for the emergency it is. Therefore we in the hedge fund community are determined to do whatever it is we can do, to stop the needless suffering of the children and adults who are afflicted by this disease."
Stacey Blaschke, who runs Be the Cause wrote, "I am joining this fast in solidarity with others who find the statistic of a child dying of a preventable disease every 30 seconds, unacceptable and who want to aid in eradicating this worldwide killer."
Lance Laifer, the Founder of Hedge Funds vs. Malaria and Dunk Malaria added that the fast day was chosen to commemorate the birth date of Sir Ronald Ross, the man who in the late 19th century succeeded in demonstrating the life-cycle of the parasites of malaria in mosquitoes. This was a very important step in understanding that mosquitoes are the culprits when it comes to malaria transmission. Sir Ronald Ross' birthday is actually May 13, a Saturday this year but since many people are not allowed to fast on Saturday for religious reasons, the day of the fast was moved to May 11. Mr. Laifer also noted the proximity of May 11 to Mother's Day (May 14) because malaria is one of the world's largest killers of mothers, particularly first-time mothers.
For more information please visit www.worldswimformalaria.com/ifam or contact Lance Laifer at 203-899-0657 or firstname.lastname@example.org