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The Buzz and Bite Malaria Prevention Campaign

In the time it takes to read this introduction, a child will die of a preventable disease called malaria. Malaria accounts for one death every 30 seconds. Malaria kills more than 1 million people every year. Each year, between 350 million and 500 million people are infected with malaria.

The Buzz and Bite Campaign consists of a series of 30 animated shorts called Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The animated spots, each 1 minute or 30 seconds, are comedic sketches featuring two talking, female anopheles mosquitoes that provide to the viewers a variety of information and messages about the transmission of malaria and about protection against malaria infection. In addition, one spot has been created for non-malaria prevalent countries to encourage the viewers to buy bed-nets for malaria at-risk populations.

The PSAs are available to any television broadcaster, radio station, non-governmental organization (NGO), hospital, doctor, community group, university, school, educator or other user, anywhere in the world, free of charge.

The Buzz and Bite Campaign currently consists of 1,134 separate PSAs. Subject to funding, the goal of The Buzz and Bite Campaign is to eventually consist of 1,200 animated shorts and 200 audio shorts in at least 40 languages, thereby becoming one of the world's largest PSA campaigns on any subject.

Until now, 23 languages plus 15 dialects of Madagascar have been created. The PSAs are currently being adapted into many languages. The goal is to enable a potential reach of 80% of the world's malaria at-risk population or over 4 billion people in their own language.

The campaign is strongly supported by Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu who has written an open letter on which he calls "an impassioned plea" to use the Campaign.

The Buzz and Bite 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.

Malaria has been eradicated in many parts of the world but continues to thrive and even grow in other parts, espcially in tropical areas. This anti-malaria campaign focuses on sub-Saharan Africa (where up to 90 per cent of all malaria fatalities occur), on South America, and on South and South-East Asia, where the rates of malaria are alarmingly high.

Malaria is preventable. Although spraying and the development of vaccines show great promise, the easiest and cheapest way to prevent malaria infection is through the use of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed-nets (LLINs) which can last up to 5 years. This campaign promotes the use of nets.

Nigeria and Ghana became the first countries in the world to play the Buzz and Bite PSAs on television. Madagascar became the first country to completely blanket its population by adapting the spots into all 15 local dialects.