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Unite Against Malaria!

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Unite Against Malaria!

“United Against Malaria (UAM) is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations and people like you who have united ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to win the fight against malaria.” (Source: United Against Malaria website)

With the World Cup 2010 taking place in South Africa, United Against Malaria is on mission to eliminate the number of malaria-related deaths by 2015.

More than half the world population (3.3 billion) are at risk of malaria. Sadly, 91 percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, with 85 percent being children under the age of five.

Karin Lorsen, Public Affairs of the United Nations Foundation told Latino Sports, "In our fourth year of partnership, MLS W.O.R.K.S. and Nothing but Net are uniting with global malaria partners to build upon the growing momentum to end malaria in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the first time it will be played on the African Continent."

"Dwayne De Rosario and Diego Gutierrez, who has brought the Nothing But Nets campaign to MLS, traveled to Mali in 2007 as guests of the UN Foundation to participate in the distribution of bed nets to children."

In order to learn more about UAM and how one can help out, Latino Sports spoke with Dwayne De Rosario in a phone interview.

Recognized as one of the best clutch performers to ever play in Major League Soccer, Dwayne De Rosario is two-time MLS Cup MVP. Along with his MVP awards, De Rosario has won four MLS Cup titles with the San Jose Earthquakes and the Houston Dynamo.

Now playing for Toronto FC, Dwayne De Rosario is the Team Captain and currently leads his club in scoring with five goals.

Earlier this week, De Rosario was named Player of the Week for his heroics in Week 5 against the Seattle Sounders in which he scored a goal and registered an assist in Toronto FC’s 2-0 shutout victory.

Off the pitch, De Rosario is recognized for his role as a humanitarian. Through Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, MLS W.O.R.K.S., De Rosario first became aware of the malaria epidemic faced in Africa in 2007.

“Through MLS W.O.R.K.S., I witnessed first hand the effects of malaria has on families and communities when I went to Mali. The effects are devasting…every 30 seconds, a child dies in Africa from malaria,” De Rosario told Latino Sports.

“United Against Malaria’s goal is to see the end of malaria by 2015. With the World Cup taking place this year, UAM has partnered with various organizations.

"During the season, Major League Soccer clubs will be launching their Nothing But Nets campaign to spread awareness to their home crowd about malaria.”

“We all can make a difference if we’re educating our friends and families about the devastating effects of malaria. Along with our awareness, a contribution of $10 will provide a net for a family which will help against malaria.

"The more nets we distribute will help decrease the number of deaths in Africa and hopefully enable us to reach our goal by 2015,” De Rosario told Latino Sports.

For more information about malaria and how you please go to:

www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org

www.mlssoccer.com/mls_works

www.nothingbutnets.net

www.facebook.com/unitedagainstmalaria

http://www.youtube.com/unitedagainstmalaria#p/a/f/2/4wYVQkGwNew

Cesar Diaz is the Soccer Editor of Latino Sports. Please send Cesar your questions and comments to cesar@latinosports.com.

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