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"Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" Business Leadership Conference
in Partnership with the Malaria Foundation International
to be Hosted by Emory University in Atlanta, Ga

VideoWebcast

PRESS RELEASE 29 Nov. 2005, Atlanta, Ga - The Hedge Fund community is proud to announce the confirmed date (6 December 2005) and preliminary program for the First Annual Atlanta "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" Business Leadership Conference in partnership with the Malaria Foundation International.  With a sense of urgency, given the enormous global toll malaria has on communities worldwide (over 500 million estimated cases annually and several million deaths each year), this awareness raising and fundraising conference has been scheduled a mere month after the first galvanizing inaugural "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" event held 20 September 2005 at the New York Marriott Marquis.  The New York event was attended by over two hundred people and marked the First Annual New York "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" Leadership Conference.

Adopting a similar template, the Atlanta conference will be held on Tuesday, 6 December from 3-7pm, at Emory University's Law School.  The conference will bring together a distinguished group of business, medical, advocacy, and theological leaders to present their insights on Africa, business, leadership, and malaria.  Guest speakers will be hosted and introduced by leaders of the Hedge Fund community, including Mr. Lance Laifer, one of the co-founders of the "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" concept.  A main aim is to engender an unprecedented interest in this disease, which ravishes millions, yet by and large goes unnoticed. 

While attention on malaria has been growing in recent years, it is simply not enough.  "Malaria needs to stand out on its own.", says Lance Laifer.  "It cannot simply be subsumed under the umbrella of Global Health or Poverty."  

This sentiment rings true for the Malaria Foundation International (MFI), a grass roots organization founded in 1992 by Dr. Mary R. Galinski, who continues to lead the organization and conduct malaria research as a member of the faculty at Emory University's School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. 

"We and others have been raising awareness and support to fight malaria, but we now need to escalate and expedite our efforts", Dr. Galinski said.  "The Hedge Fund community has the means to help make this happen, bringing superb business, investing, and marketing skills.  We have welcomed the opportunity to step up to the plate as partners with the Hedge Fund community and ask others to similarly join us in this fight." 

The Malaria Foundation International's mission is to facilitate the development and implementation of solutions to the health, economic and social problems caused by malaria.  The Foundation's goals are to support awareness, education, training, research, and leadership programs for the immediate and long term development and application of tools to combat malaria.  The MFI established the first malaria website at www.malaria.org in 1995 and the first major global media attention on malaria in 1997. The organization has worked in partnership with many individuals and groups who have since joined this cause.

Malaria can be beat.  Currently available tools used to fight this mosquito borne disease include malaria drugs such as artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), insecticide treated nets (ITNs), and insecticide sprays such as DDT. These tools can be used immediately to reduce or eliminate malaria in communities, while new and improved methods are being devised through ongoing critically needed malaria research, development, and implementation efforts.  The Malaria Foundation International is a member of the Malaria R&D Alliance, which is helping to promote research side by side with active control programs.

Funds totaling over $200,000 raised at the inaugural "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" conference are being used to establish Malaria Free Zones (MFZ's) - pilot projects in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. The "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" plans entail the proper combination of current methods, with professional monitoring and oversight, and with sustainability being a goal. "We believe that malaria represents the tipping point social issue for Africa. We believe that an African child's life is worth protecting with the same vigor, intensity, and passion we summon up to fight wars and elect presidents (or cheer for our favorite college and pro sports teams), " says Mr. Laifer.

Funds raised at the Atlanta conference will support Malaria Foundation International projects aimed at heightening awareness to an unprecedented level and expanding the number of people involved in raising funds and working to tackle this disease.  The projects will involve professionals from all walks of life, as well as engage student leaders in the U.S. working in partnership with African students.  A goal of the conference will also be to involve large U.S. corporations in the logistical planning of the fight against malaria.  The Atlanta conference will immediately lead to the announcement and planning of a subsequent "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" conference.  Before long, everyone in the United States will know that malaria is an ongoing disaster that can no longer be ignored.

The MFI's awareness-raising vision and projects are entirely consistent with the "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" aim to involve a broad number of individuals, thus making the two groups natural partners.  The MFI brings its long-standing networks and knowledge on malaria to bear, and the "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" leaders bring their special business approaches and capabilities. 

The Atlanta conference will mark the first "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" conference to be held at a University. Emory University is hosting this event with the support of the University's President James Wagner. "We are pleased to host this event which will engage new leadres to help make malaria a disease of the past", said President Wagner. "Disease research and outreach initiatives are in line with Emory's strategic plan and commitment to global health concerns."

Between one to three million children worldwide die from malaria each year (more than AIDS and cancer combined) even though malaria is a completely preventable disease.  Pregnant women and non-immune individuals are also especially vulnerable.  Non-immune individuals, if not treated with effective medications, can succumb to the disease in a matter of days from the time of first symptoms, which include chills, fever, nausea and headache.

Malaria, earth's largest killer ever, is the worst positioned and marketed disease in world history.  Over 95% of the people surveyed about malaria were unaware that millions of children are dying from malaria.  There is no malaria lobby in Washington. There is no organized malaria PR effort.  There are few relevant charitable efforts focused exclusively on malaria.  There are few malaria education efforts in the United States.  Governmental spending on malaria control initiatives worldwide is difficult to audit.  These problems are exacerbated by the fact that malaria is normally subsumed under the overall banner of world poverty and global health.

Hundreds of volunteers are needed to help lead the effort to raise awareness of the malaria emergency that is currently taking place, especially in Africa (It is estimated that 90% of malaria deaths worldwide occur in Africa and that 90% of malaria deaths occur in children under the age of five).  We are encouraging everyone interested in volunteering to contact us at vs.malaria@gmail.com  Please also follow developments and opportunities for your participation by accessing information being posted regularly at www.malaria.org. 

The preliminary program and registration information for the Atlanta "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria" Business Leadership Conference can be found at the MFI's home page. 

The MFI is the first 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to malaria.  The MFI has proven itself as an organization with a neutral, international, respected reputation for "taking a stand", "getting things done", and "being there for the long haul". 

For more information contact:

Mr. Lance Laifer
, Co-founder of Hedge Funds vs. Malaria
Email: vs.malaria@gmail.com

Dr. Kathryn Burchenal, Vice President, Malaria Foundation International
Email:
HedgeFunds@malaria.org

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