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Twitterati swarm on malaria campaign

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The UN Special Envoy for Malaria has released the names of his Social Media Group who have promised to do their bit to keep malaria prevention programmes in the public eye.

Joining the group shouldn't be too much of a burden - members are asked to send one malaria-relevant tweet, or Facebook entry, every month for a year.

Britain's own Sarah Brown has signed up to the not-too-burdensome pledge, as have Larry King, Arianna Huffington and Facebook's marketing sister Randi Zuckerberg. Also on the list are Digg founder Kevin Rose, Biz Stone of Twitter, Padmasree Warrior, CTO at Cisco. The full list is here.

The UN body aims to have some anti-malaria provision in every African nation with endemic malaria by the end of 2010. By 2015 it hopes to achieve close to zero deaths from malaria - about one million people a year die from malaria currently.

The vast majority of deaths could be combatted with Deet-treated mosquito nets, although the disease is also treatable.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pays for nets, as well as funding research into new insecticides and malaria vaccines. ®

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