Heard on the Hill: Moore on the Malaria Battle

Posted August 14, 2011 at 11:51am

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.