September 22, 2008
Buy-A-Net Malaria Prevention Group and the Buzz and Bite Campaign Co-Operate to Educate Canadian Students and Ugandans About Malaria Prevention
BUY-A-NET Malaria Prevention Group, a Kingston-based charitable organization and the Ottawa-based Buzz and Bite Malaria Prevention Campaign have agreed to co-operate on educating Canadian school children about the transmission and prevention of malaria. As part of the annual "November for Nets" campaign, BUY-A-NET will distribute DVDs of the Buzz and Bite Campaign throughout the Canadian education system.
In addition, the BUY-A-NET organization will receive and distribute DVDs of The Buzz and Bite Campaign in Uganda, a country with one of the highest number of deaths due to malaria. Each DVD has been customized to contain the messages appropriate to Uganda in East African English and in Luganda.
Firdaus Kharas, creator of the Buzz and Bite Malaria Prevention Campaign said: "I am very pleased to co-operate with BUY-A-NET in Canada and in Uganda. I have no doubt they will reach Canadian students to motivate them to get involved to combat the global scourge of malaria. Equally, I am extremely happy that BUY-A-NET will ensure widespread distribution on the Buzz and Bite Campaign through their network on the ground in Uganda. I salute the many volunteers of BUY-A-NET who are saving lives in Africa through their efforts."
Debra Lefebvre, founder of BUY-A-NET Malaria Prevention Group said: "We are very excited to add this valuable tool to the annual "November for Nets Campaign" kit for use in Canadian schools, colleges and universities, as well as to educate Ugandans about malaria. Even though malaria is a crushing subject, Buzz and Bite use animation to speak to the devastating effects of malaria in a fun and non-threatening manner. Buzz and Bite engage children and adults alike. We believe Buzz and Bite will motivate Canadian students to action, to make a real and immediate difference in the global war on malaria."
In Africa, one child dies every 30 seconds from malaria. Each year, between 350 million and 500 million people are infected with malaria around the world. Even though malaria is preventable and treatable, it currently threatens over 40 per cent of the world's population. The majority of deaths from malaria are young children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. There is no vaccine against malaria; the best defence is prevention with the use of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets.
The Buzz and Bite Malaria Prevention Campaign:
The Buzz and Bite Malaria Prevention Campaign is the creation of Canadian animation producer and director Firdaus Kharas, working with a team of skilled professionals. The series was launched in Ottawa and at the United Nations by Mr. Kharas in advance of the first World Malaria Day, April 25, 2008. The Buzz and Bite malaria prevention campaign consists of 30 animated Public Service Announcements (PSAs) or spots that provide to the viewer a variety of information about the transmission and prevention of malaria. In addition to the 30 spots created for malaria prevalent countries, two spots have been created to encourage non-malaria prevalent countries to buy long-lasting insecticide-treated bed-nets for malaria at-risk populations.
The PSAs are available to any television broadcaster, radio station, NGO, hospital, doctor, community group, university, school, educator or other user, anywhere in the world, free of charge. A comprehensive website, www.malariacampaign.ca, has been developed where copies of tapes and DVDs of The Buzz and Bite Campaign can be requested online. The Buzz and Bite malaria prevention campaign is currently available in 22 languages, from Afrikaans to Tagalog. In all, 662 PSAs have been already created. The campaign is strongly supported by Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu who has written an open letter which he calls "an impassioned plea" to use the campaign.
BUY-A-NET Malaria Prevention Group:
Launched in 2004, BUY-A-NET Malaria Prevention Group is Canada's first citizen-driven charitable organization that seeks to prevent deaths from malaria in Africa, one village at a time. The nation of Uganda was chosen as the first target country of the campaign. With the slogan "$6 BUCKS, BUY-A-NET, SAVE A LIFE" Buy-A-Net provides advocacy and awareness about malaria and raises much needed funds for the procurement of long-lasting, insecticide treated bed nets and anti-malaria medicine. In partnership with community-based groups, the nets and medicine are distributed free-of- charge, one village at a time. Further information can be found at www.buyanet.ca.
Firdaus Kharas has been publicly acknowledged as a "world renowned" director and producer of animation, film and television media. His current work focuses on creating various types of media to affect societal and individual behavioural change through mass communications. These media initiatives have a universal appeal in that they span many cultures and countries to better the human condition.
In the last three years, Mr. Kharas' media work has garnered 60 international awards. These include the Peabody, CINE Golden Eagle, Telly, Platinum Remi, Chris, Hugo, Golden Reel, Gold World Medal in New York and First Prize at the Chicago International Children's Festival.
Mr. Kharas, who is Ottawa-based, owns and operates Chocolate Moose Media Inc. Further information can be found at www.kharas.ca.
Contacts: Firdaus Kharas (613) 820-6121 Email: [email protected] BUY-A-NET Malaria Prevention Group Joanne Langlois Marketing and Media Consultant (613) 542-1264 or Cell (613) 540-1202 Email: [email protected] Website: www.buyanet.ca
SOURCE: BUY-A-NET Malaria Prevention Group and Buzz and Bite Campaign