Flying against malaria – more partners in the fight (and flight)

When it comes to malaria, mosquitoes are not the only things flying.  British Airways announced recently in Lagos that some of the funds earned for UNICEF for the ‘Change for Good’ program will be used to provide ITNs in Nigeria.

Africa News reported that, “According to Andrew Crawley, the Airline’s Director of sales in Nigeria in a visit to health centers in Lagos during the World Malaria day says ‘We have made this commitment to support help reduce the suffering of people plagued by this ailment’ Speaking on BA’s collaboration with UNICEF, Crawley says ‘On behalf of everyone at the British Airways, I would like to thank all our customers who have donated their spare currency to the Change for Good program. Without them the funding of this program would not have been possible’ says BA sales director.”

Change for Good has been operating for around 15 years and has raised over 26million pounds for UNICEF projects in 60 countries.  “The Airline donated mosquito nets to remote villages in Lagos, where the breeding of mosquitoes is provoked by poor environment.”

Other airlines have been flying against malaria for several years to support UNITAID. The work of UNITAID has focused largely around affordable drugs for malaria.  Partner countries and airlines are many as seen below.

UNITAID receives its funds through airline ticket taxes or regular budget contributions. Countries implementing the airline tax as of the end of 2008 include Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Madagascar, Mauritius, Niger and the Republic of Korea. Norway allocates part of its tax on carbon dioxide emissions from air travel to UNITAID. Jordan joined UNITAID in late 2008 and declared its intention of introducing the air tax. In addition, two African countries – Kenya and Burkina-Faso – pledged their intention of introducing the air tax in the near future to support UNITAID.

More innovative funding and awareness mechanisms are needed to reach our targets

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