Mandy Moore and a bipartisan delegation of senior House staffers were in Cameroon last week helping launch a national malaria campaign.
“A long-lasting insecticide mosquito net is a mere $10 and gives years of protection to impoverished Cameroonians, who comprise nearly half of the population [in the country],” Michael Shank, communications director for Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), tells HOH. “This is a totally preventable problem.
"I'm not sure what's more difficult, sitting beside a 3-year-old Cameroonian girl who's suffering from malaria, listening to her soft but persistent cries," Shank says. "Or recognizing how privilege put me fortuitously outside the claws of chronic poverty — claws which are sharpened by the menace of malaria."
“Major props to Mandy for making this a priority in South Sudan, Central African Republic and now Cameroon, and for dedicating her platform to malaria prevention,” he adds.
The program will distribute 8 million mosquito nets across the country. Moore is the Population Services International ambassador.
Joining Moore and Shank were Richard Hudson, chief of staff for Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas); Julie Nickson, chief of staff for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif); Steven Shearer, chief of staff for Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.); Jessica Lee, senior legislative aide for Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.); Rachel Dresen, legislative director for Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.); and Jenn Holcomb, legislative aide for Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.).
The Congressional delegation is being sponsored by the Humpty Dumpty Institute, United Nations Foundation and the Nothing But Nets Campaign.
Correction: Aug. 15, 2011
An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated Mandy Moore’s reason for visiting Cameroon. Moore is the Population Services International ambassador.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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