This month we recognize World Malaria Day on April 25. This is a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world.
It is a day to not only acknowledge the successes of the global malaria community in delivering effective and affordable protection and treatment, but also to raise awareness of all the work that is left to do to eradicate this preventable disease.
In partnership with organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Red Cross works in high-risk areas across the globe through community-level health education sessions, household visits, educational materials, community sign boards and radio campaigns.
At night in many regions of the world, mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite bite unprotected victims and infect them with the virus. There is no vaccine for malaria -- the only proven way to prevent the disease is to not get bitten. The most effective preventative tool is to sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net.
The role of the American Red Cross in this partnership is to work with our partners to distribute free bed nets and educate owners on how to effectively use them through our "Hang Up Keep Up Campaigns." We support bed net distributions during measles vaccination campaigns supported by the Measles Initiative, as well as after disasters, such as floods and cyclones.
The Red Cross trains volunteers who have educated more than one million people about how to properly use their nets in Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar and Mozambique. For more information, go to the World Malaria Day website and download the American Red Cross Malaria Fact Sheet.