Another Weapon In The Malaria War

First lady Laura Bush is expanding the administration's war on malaria by teaming up with the group Malaria No More, which supplies African families with nets to ward off insects. The group is raising money during the holidays by selling cards, in paper or via E-mail, for $10. The money is used to buy bed nets, a project that has won support from several U.S. organizations, including the United Methodist Church and former White House spokesman Mike McCurry.

The group's mission is to end malaria deaths, said a spokesman. Malaria claims about 1 million a year in Africa, making it the continent's No. 1 killer. Spokeswoman Sally McDonough said the first lady's initiative is part of a broader move to expand the White House effort to fund the malaria war.

"The 14th is the anniversary of the White House Conference on Malaria, and she wanted to mark the anniversary with an opportunity for giving. She and the president are passionate about doing what they can to prevent people, especially babies, from dying from a mosquito bite," she said. The White House this week is also putting up "giving trees" inside the facility to give staff an opportunity to buy a USA Freedom Corps ornament that will fund bed nets.

By Paul Bedard