Malaria is an issue that I have spent many years of my life working on
and it is one that is very close to my heart. As a child of Africa I
find it to be incredibly devastating that malaria, a disease which is
entirely preventable and treatable, affects almost half of the world’s
population and claims the life of an African child every 50 seconds.
This is simply unacceptable.

Today as the international community commemorates World Malaria Day I
will have the opportunity to join members of Buy-a-Net, an Ontario
based charitable organization, and distribute mosquito nets in a
Katagoo which is a village located in Kampala, Uganda not too far from
where I grew up. For years I have watched with great admiration as
this organization has reached out and helped protect one village at a
time by administering vaccines, distributing mosquito nets and
educating communities about malaria. Since 2006 when Buy-a-Net
distributed its very first net in Uganda I have been working closely
with their team in efforts to help control and prevent malaria. Today
we will distribute over 500 long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito
nets. These nets, which cost as little as $7, will help protect entire
families for up to five years from the ravages of malaria.

World Malaria Day presents an opportunity for malaria-free countries
like Canada to learn about the devastating consequences of this
disease. It is an opportunity for research and academic institutions
to flag their scientific advances to both experts and the general
public. It is a chance for countries in affected regions to learn from
each other’s experiences and support each other’s efforts. It is an
opportunity for international partners, companies and foundations to
showcase their results and reflect together how to move forward in the
fight against this disease.

As we commemorate this day let us raise awareness in our homes and in
our communities about this entirely preventable disease which preys on
our world’s most vulnerable populations. Let us come together, hand in
hand, and participate in the battle against malaria by investing our
time and our resources towards fighting this horrific disease.
Together we can make a difference, we can save the lives of men, women, and
children living in Africa who continue to fall victim to this
preventable disease.