An irritating human-sized mosquito plays it for laughs to highlight a very serious issue in a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) created by VH1 for Nothing But Nets, a global, grassroots campaign that provides long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. The PSA, premiering on Monday, November 5, 2007 on VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul and VH1.com is part of VH1’s partnership with Nothing But Nets to raise awareness and engage individuals in the battle against malaria. Sherrod Small, Chuck Nice and Laurie Kilmartin from “Best Week Ever” play some of the office workers who are annoyed by the large buzzing mosquito.
“Malaria is a devastating disease that affects many people and we feel it is important to educate our viewers on this issue and how they can help,” said VH1 Executive Vice President and General Manager, Tom Calderone. “When creating this PSA, it was really important to connect with our viewers through humor and there was no better way to convey this message than by using some of the cast from ‘Best Week Ever.’ We commend Nothing But Nets for their commitment and look forward to continuing our partnership in the fight against malaria.”
“Here in the U.S., mosquitoes are annoying; but in Africa, they spread malaria, a potentially fatal disease,” said Kathy Calvin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the United Nations Foundation, creator of Nothing But Nets. “The team at VH1 has done a great job of conveying the gravity of this issue with humor. We’ve been amazed and grateful for the large outpouring of support from tens of thousands of individuals who are already sending nets and saving lives. Our partnership with VH1 helps us to reach even more people and we thank VH1 for this creative opportunity.”
In addition to airing on VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, and VH1.com, the PSA will also run on Jumbo Trons at NBA, WNBA, and MLS games throughout 2007 and 2008 through the Nothing But Nets’ partnership with NBA Cares, WNBA Cares and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to view the PSA.
Each year, malaria infects approximately 300-500 million people around the world, killing more than one million. Ninety percent of those who die are African children: one child every 30 seconds. One of the most cost-effective and simple approaches to combating malaria is the use of insecticide-treated bed nets; nets can prevent the transmission of malaria by up to 90 percent in areas with high coverage. The World Health Organization recently touted the benefits of free mass distribution of nets as “a powerful way to quickly and dramatically increase coverage,” and cited a decrease in deaths by more than 40 percent among children in Kenya from 2004 to 2006 as a result of wide-spread net distribution and use.
A $10 donation at www.NothingButNets.net is all it takes to purchase and distribute a bed net and educate the recipient on its proper use. It’s an easy way for concerned individuals to take part in the solution to save lives and get involved in the global fight to combat malaria.
To date, Nothing But Nets has engaged more than 60,000 individuals, raised more than $16 million and distributed more than 400,000 nets, including a recent distribution to provide full coverage for children and families in Congo. More than 300,000 more nets will be distributed in Gabon and Mali this fall. Bed net distributions are organized and implemented by the Measles Initiative, a partnership led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF.
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the UN Foundation in 2006. Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The People of the United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.
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Maura Wozniak Amy DiElsi
VH1 Communications United Nations Foundation
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