This content is available in English only
Hong Kong Popstars – Janice and Jill Vidal – lend their voice to fight malaria in Asia and beyond
Press release, 5.04.2012Tweet
5 April 2012, Hong Kong: Hong Kong actresses and singers, Janice and Jill Vidal, are raising their voices to bring attention to the plight of millions of people who needlessly suffer from malaria every day in Asia and around the world. Joining with the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), an initiative founded in 1998 by UNICEF, WHO, UNDP and the World Bank that has since become the global public-private partnership coordinating the global fight against the disease, Janice and Jill are urging greater regional investment in the global fight against malaria.
“It is unacceptable that a child dies every minute from malaria, especially when we have all the life-saving tools to ensure no one suffer from this disease” said Janice Vidal. Jill Vidal added, “Malaria is important to us because it affects the most vulnerable – children and pregnant women. We can beat this disease. We call on everyone to join us and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to end malaria now.”
The celebrity twins will also announce that they will travel to Indonesia next week, on 13-14 April, for a malaria field visit with RBM to see first-hand the power of simple, life-saving and cost-effective tools to prevent and treat this leading killer. In partnership with RBM partners – the local Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – Janice and Jill will join Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, RBM Special Representative, and visit a village affected by malaria, tour a health clinic, and participate in a health promotion campaign by distributing life-saving insecticide-treated nets to mothers and children. This important field visit comes just before groups around the world plan their annual celebration of World Malaria Day on April 25.
The Asia-Pacific region has the second highest burden of malaria outside of Africa. Over the past decade, remarkable progress has been seen in the African continent where increased awareness, political and financial commitment were mobilized to significantly scale up malaria control interventions. Increased access to insecticide-treated nets and appropriate medicines resulted in reductions of malaria burden in some countries by more than half the levels in 2000. Continued efforts to prevent, treat and control malaria in Africa is needed; however, a focus in the Asia-Pacific region, where challenges such as drug resistance are emerging, is essential to win the global fight against this disease.
Although completely preventable and treatable, malaria – caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito – continues to infect 216 million people globally each year, killing 655,000. More than 90% of these deaths are among young children.
“We are at a critical juncture in the fight against malaria. Increased political and financial will have created greater access to necessary prevention and treatment tools in many of the most affected communities around the world, leading to a 25 percent decrease in malaria deaths since 2000. But in the face of financial gaps and drug resistance, the many successes we’ve made in recent years stand to be reversed unless we maintain our commitment to overcoming this preventable and treatable killer,” said Hervé Verhoosel, External Relations Manager for RBM. “The Roll Back Malaria Partnership is delighted to partner with Janice and Jill to raise the profile of malaria in Asia and to encourage greater regional investment in global malaria control efforts.”
“We are excited to be lending our voices to this important issue and hope those throughout Asia will answer our call to join Roll Back Malaria and become engaged in this cause,” said Janice and Jill. “Together we can and will overcome malaria.”
The RBM Secretariat
Mr Hervé Verhoosel
Tel.: + 1 646 626 6043
Mobile: + 1 917345 5238
The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM is the global framework for coordinated action against malaria. Founded in 1998 by UNICEF, WHO, UNDP and the World Bank and strengthened by the expertise, resources and commitment of more than 500 partner organizations, RBM is a public-private partnership that facilitates the incubation of new ideas, lends support to innovative approaches, promotes high-level political commitment and keeps malaria high on the global agenda by enabling, harmonizing and amplifying partner-driven advocacy initiatives. RBM secures policy guidance and financial and technical support for control efforts in countries and monitors progress towards universal goals.