DAKAR, Senegal — World-famous singer Youssou Ndour has a voice that is recognized across the globe.
Now he’s using that voice to amplify the fight against malaria in his home country of Senegal with a new song “Xeex Sibbiru” (“Fight Malaria” in Wolof) and a multi-year partnership with Malaria No More, designed to get Africa singing a different tune — one of a country where no child dies of malaria. “Xeex Sibbiru” raises awareness about malaria prevention and treatment as Senegal prepares for a mass distribution of mosquito nets kicking off in late June.
On June 20, the Youssou Ndour Foundation and Malaria No More are launching “Surround Sound: Senegal”, a campaign to activate key sectors of society — including entertainment, sport, faith, local business and government — to encourage people to use mosquito nets and seek treatment to end malaria deaths in Senegal. Youssou is raising his voice to engage families across the country in a common effort against malaria, which can be defeated with simple tools like mosquito nets and effective medicines.
“Malaria has plagued Senegal for too long. I wrote Xeex Sibbiru because I am tired of seeing my country suffer needlessly from this preventable and treatable disease,” said Ndour. “It’s up to each of us to do our part. I am honored to use my music to help families in Senegal learn how to protect themselves from malaria and make a happier and healthier future for their children.”
“Surround Sound: Senegal” launches as Senegal’s Ministry of Health and National Malaria Control Program (PNLP), along with international partners, prepare to distribute more than two million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets in a nationwide campaign to cover every child under five in Senegal, June 22-30. Youssou’s music is reaching families even now, working to change attitudes towards malaria in a country that has suffered from it for centuries.
To highlight the importance of fighting malaria, Ndour collaborated with fellow Senegalese artists to write “Xeex Sibbiru”, telling the story of a young man who gets malaria and misses out on life and encouraging him and all Senegalese to sleep under a mosquito net. This song, along with radio messages from Youssou himself, are playing across national radio stations and from 1300 health huts and net distribution points throughout the country. Youssou is kicking off “Surround Sound: Senegal” and the national distribution with a “Xeex Sibbiru” concert on June 20, at the 30,000-person Tinder Barry Stadium outside of Dakar.
“In order to reach our goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa by 2015, we need to make sure that every family is equipped with the tools and the knowledge of how to protect themselves,” said Scott Case, CEO of Malaria No More. “We are so grateful that Youssou is using the power of his voice to help families across Senegal as they receive mosquito nets this June.”
“Surround Sound: Senegal” strives to help communities and families embrace a new and enduring tradition of mosquito net usage and malaria treatment. The world has the tools to end malaria deaths and international support has skyrocketed in recent years. Youssou Ndour is showing how, by surrounding the country with a message that no child need die of malaria, Senegal can become the next success story in the fight against malaria.
For more details and to download “Xeex Sibbiru” go to www.malarianomore.org/surroundsound.
Youssou Ndour has long been an advocate for malaria control, starting with the “Africa Live” project in 2005. He is a board member of Malaria No More and an ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. With the support of Sumitomo Chemical, a leading manufacturer of long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLINS), The Youssou Ndour Foundation has contributed 16,000 nets to the national distribution, which will be distributed in the Linguere region June 25-28.
Malaria No More is determined to end malaria deaths in Africa–and we’re helping the world get it done. We use breakthrough communications, global advocacy and smart investments to help us reach our goal: providing universal access to malaria interventions by the end of 2010 and ending deaths by 2015. Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria, but a simple net can save lives. Find out how you can help at www.MalariaNoMore.org.
National Distribution Campaign Partners Include: Senegal National Malaria Control Program, U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (USAID and CDC), UNICEF, World Vision, World Health Organization, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Canadian Red Cross, Sumitomo Chemical / Olyset, Youssou Ndour Foundation, Malaria No More, U.S. Peace Corps, Japan International Cooperation Agency, ChildFund International, IntraHealth, Helen Keller International, Against Malaria Foundation, NetMark, Senegalese Red Cross Society, Health Districts and Medical Regions, Micronutrient Initiative (MI), (DANSE) Division of Feeding, Nutrition and Child Survival, National Health Information and Health Education Service (SNEIPS), Nutritional Enhancement Program (PRN), and Malnutrition Control Cell (CLM).
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