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Plugging Spread the Net's slogan – “1 Net. 10 Bucks. Saves lives.” – comedian Rick Mercer announced the high school and the university that raised the most money during this year’s Spread the Net Student Challenge that ended last month.

Espanola High School in Ontario and the University of Northern British Columbia raised over $30,000 of the $104,000 total that came in from 65 schools and universities for the purchase of insecticide-treated bed nets to be distributed throughout Africa to prevent the spread of malaria. Mercer and Belinda Stronach created Spread the Net with UNICEF Canada to support UNICEF’s bed net distribution programs.

“Malaria is a preventable disease,” says a student from UNBC. “It’s something that we have been able to eradicate here in Canada. I feel we should be able to reach out to other countries and try to help them as well. This is the most effective way to prevent the disease.”

With the student challenge over, Spread the Net has another one leading up to World Malaria Day on April 25: “Every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, a child dies from malaria. The cost of malaria on the African economy is costing billions annually. We challenge you to donate $10 now to commemorate World Malaria Day.”

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