UN Foundation Launches ‘Buzz Tour’ to End Malaria

The United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets -- a global, grassroots operation aiming to end malaria in Africa -- launched its “Buzz Tour,” a campaign aboard a sustainable, eco-friendly converted school bus outfitted with solar panels and running on waste vegetable oil and biodiesel, making stops across the country to raise awareness about malaria prevention and drive people to join the movement to end malaria. The bus -- emblazoned with the tour logo “Malaria Kills. Send a net. Save a life,” made its first stop in Columbus, Ohio, March 27 and will be in Kansas City, Kan., on April 10, New York on April 17, and Washington, D.C. on April 25, which is also World Malaria Day.

The tour is revving-up supporters -- from students to Major League Soccer teams and fans -- to mobilize around the Sleep Out to End Malaria event on April 24, the eve of World Malaria Day. Campaign organizers say the sleep out will show world leaders people care about saving lives by ending malaria, and call for continued support of malaria prevention and treatment, to achieve the global goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015.

“We're going on this Buzz Tour to meet our supporters around the country and build the buzz for the Sleep Out to End Malaria on the night before World Malaria Day,” said Nothing But Nets Director Adrianna Logalbo. “We're driving toward ending malaria deaths by 2015 and making history. We want everyone to join us for the ride.”

Following the Sleep Out to End Malaria, the Buzz Tour will roll on to visit its partners and supporters in more than 15 cities and work with Major League Soccer to host in-stadium events to raise awareness about malaria, in the lead-up to the 2010 World Cup, which will be played in Africa for the first time. Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, where a child dies every 30 seconds from a malaria infection. To leverage the enthusiasm around the World Cup, the UN Foundation and its Nothing But Nets campaign are teaming with other malaria-focused organizations for a one-year campaign called United Against Malaria.

Long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of preventing the spread of the disease. The nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of malaria transmissions occur. One bed net can protect a family of four, and lasts three to five years. According to the campaign, a net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and educate the recipient on its proper use.

Organizers say that, to date, Nothing But Nets has raised close to $30 million and has sent nearly three million nets to children, pregnant women, and refugees throughout Africa. For more information, including photos, video, and the bus’s schedule, go to www.NothingButNets.net/buzztour.

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