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Nothing But Nets Blog
Last night, a new study was published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in The Lancet with some startling new figures concerning the number of malaria cases and deaths over the last 20 years. It can get a bit confusing, so we want to simplify for you here:
What did the study find?
The study suggests that there were more than 1.2 million deaths from malaria in 2010, which is double estimates from the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report. The data also suggests that there are more deaths from malaria in people older than age five than we had previously thought.
A few months ago, we asked for your help in achieving a big goal: sending 150,000 anti-malaria bed nets to refugees in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Due to the drought, famine, and conflict throughout the Horn of Africa, new refugees are arriving in camps each day. Malaria is a leading cause of death among refugees; they need food, water, shelter -- and nets -- to survive.
So many of you did your part to help! From faith-based organizations to celebrities, net manufacturers to attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, thousands of people and partners worked to help us meet (even exceed!) our goal of sending 150,000 insecticide-treated bed nets to refugees in the Horn of Africa -- and those nets will make a huge difference toward keeping families in camps healthy.
Today, we join the UN Foundation and our partners in the global health community to celebrate the life-saving work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
What is the Global Fund? Good question. It’s a public-private partnership that raises money from world governments and international organizations to stop the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria and distributes resources where they are most needed. The Global Fund provides two-thirds of world’s funds for malaria prevention and treatment.
As Nothing But Nets supporters, we know you’re committed to helping others. Two years ago today, we asked you turn your compassion you have for sending nets and saving lives to those affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Your response was overwhelming -- thousands of you joined the UN Foundation in helping the United Nations in Haiti by contributing to the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF).
Including your contributions, the UN Foundation community helped raise nearly $4 million. These generous donations have enabled the UN to:
- Provide food, medicine, water, and shelter following the earthquake through a $3 million grant to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), including to the Central Emergency Response Fund to respond to future emergencies like Haiti.
- Grant $240,000 to the UN Development Program (UNDP) for their Cash-for-Work program, an initiative to offer Haitians temporary jobs to remove rubble and help rebuild.
- Remove 50 percent of the debris produced by the earthquake's destruction.
- Provide jobs to more than 200,000 people.
- Grant more than $776,000 to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) for maternal health kits, as well as solar street lights to help keep women and girls safe at night.
This week, Nothing But Nets is spreading the buzz among more than 150,000 of the most NETworked people around – at the world-famous Consumer Electronics Show (CES)!
Every year, the biggest names in technology come to Las Vegas to showcase the newest gadgets and big ideas. Thanks to our partners at Variety and some of the bright young minds on the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, we’re proud to be CES’s first-ever featured charity.
While attendees are exploring booths to find the next Xbox or Plasma TV (both first introduced at CES), they’re also discovering a new way to give back: Send a net. Save a life. They’re learning that every 60 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria -- a disease spread by a single mosquito bite. CES attendees are then finding out the good news: in 60 seconds anyone can send an insecticide-treated bed net, or three, to prevent malaria and save lives.
As we go through this journey of life, there are a few significant experiences that influence us in such substantial ways that they alter the course we are on and the way we perceive our purpose here on earth. For me, one of those experiences was representing the WNBA as one of the founding spokespeople with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. As the campaign celebrates its 5th year fighting malaria, I cannot help but reflect on both how this campaign has impacted my life, and -- more importantly -- the millions of lives that have been saved in this short time span.
Some charitable organizations are scrutinized for the way they handle their funds - but I can without a doubt say that I have faith that the UN Foundation exhibits the utmost integrity when managing and allocating the donations they have received. Without a doubt, their focus is making sure your $10 donation is used to cover the cost of purchasing a long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed net, distributing it, and educating communities on its use. I’ve seen the impact of these donations on multiple trips to Africa with Nothing But Nets, as well as with one of its founding partners, the United Methodist Church.
In Geneva today, the World Health Organization released the 2011 World Malaria Report -- and there’s great news! This year's report has data from 99 countries, and shows that, working together with our partners, we’re saving lives from malaria.
Check out a few new stats from the 2011 World Malaria Report:
- We’ve hit an all-time low in deaths due to malaria! There were an estimated 655,000 malaria deaths in 2010.
- Malaria mortality rates have dropped by more than 25% globally and 33% in Africa since 2000.
- The number of bed nets delivered to malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 88.5 million in 2009 to 145 million in 2010 -- contributing to a 5.3 percent drop in malaria deaths.
- Families are using the bed nets you're sending: An estimated 50 percent of households in sub-Saharan Africa now have at least one net, and 96 percent of people with access to a net use it.
- With these new estimates, we’ve pushed back the clock even further -- a child now dies every minute from malaria, instead of every 45 seconds. Incredible process in a short span of time, but one child every minute still means far too many children are dying from malaria.
Last week, Nothing But Nets spread the buzz about the movement to end malaria at Virgin Unite’s "Rock The Kasbah 2011." Virgin Unite is the nonprofit part of the Virgin Group -- you know them for Virgin Airways, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Records, and more. Virgin brings together the people with life-changing ideas and adds in some of their entrepreneurial magic to help build a better world for everyone. At Rock the Kasbah 2011, we were lucky to meet some of these great people who support great causes!
On Monday December 5, 2011, the committee in the House of Representatives that focuses on global health will hold a hearing on malaria called "Fighting Malaria, Progress and Challenges." The hearing will focus on the progress that has been made in preventing and treating malaria and examine challenges around issues such as delivery of services, treatment and funding. Capitol Hill hearings focusing on malaria don’t happen very often, so we were very pleased to learn about this one.
Members of the committee will call on witnesses ranging from technical experts to former Ambassadors, with a goal of better understanding the progress and challenges that exist within U.S. efforts to fight malaria globally. You don’t have to live in Washington, DC to participate in this hearing, or to have an impact. It’s simple: send a letter to your representative to ask them to join the hearing. We’ve even written it for you! Become a NETvocate and make an impact on Capitol Hill -- send a letter to your member of Congress today.
It’s an exciting week for the Nothing But Nets campaign — it's our 5th anniversary! 5 years ago, the UN Foundation officially launched this global, grassroots campaign to send nets to save lives from malaria in Africa.
We're incredibly proud of what partners and supporters like you have helped accomplish to save lives with Nothing But Nets. According to all statistics from our UN partners, your efforts are making a huge difference in the fight against malaria: malaria prevention and treatment are saving approximately 485 lives every day. We're well on our way to covering the continent with life-saving bed nets and reaching the global goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015 — and we're not stopping until every family in Africa can sleep safely under a bed net.
"We need nets. Not hoop nets, soccer nets or lacrosse nets.
Not New Jersey Nets or dot-nets or clarinets.
See, nearly 3,000 kids die every day in Africa from malaria. And according to the World Health Organization, transmission of the disease would be reduced by 60% with the use of mosquito nets and prompt treatment for the infected.
We gotta get these nets...
You need about $10, all told, to get them shipped and installed...
10 bucks means a kid might get to live."
The words above are from the most important column I ever wrote for Sports Illustrated -- the column that inspired the UN Foundation to launch the Nothing But Nets campaign five years ago today.
Three years ago, I joined the Nothing But Nets team to plan our City Tours and help spread the buzz about the movement to end malaria across the country. I was on the job just two weeks when I was asked to put together a week of events in Philadelphia. After our first City Tour, meeting with our partners, the best steak and cheese I’ve ever had, and a missed train (little did I know, this would be the first of many) -- I was hooked.
From the moment I started, I was in awe of the campaign and what it’s accomplished. As we traveled the country, I developed an even greater admiration of our supporters and partners. I met very young supporters who felt tackling malaria was as reasonable to take on as biking down the street. I met athletes who were as passionate about solving malaria as they were competing on the field. I met faith-based partners who saw this opportunity as part of their everyday mantra, "those who can, do." In every city we went to, I was touched by so many people who gave selflessly to others in need across the world.
Editor's Note: This blog post was co-written by Nothing But Nets team member Negin Janati and Kate Dodson, UN Foundation Director for Global Health. If you missed Part 1 of this story, read it here!
Sagude looked down to put his arm around his eight-year-old son, then looked back up to us and said "I understand you've come a long way to get here. I know you're from America, and that we have American generosity to thank for our healthy community. So I would just like to say thank you. Your support has not gone unnoticed."
At three months on the job, I’m the newest member of the Nothing But Nets team. I’m constantly inspired by my team, the rest of my UN Foundation colleagues, and the people I talk to each day who keep this campaign running: our Nothing But Nets supporters.
Whether you started sending nets after reading Rick Reilly’s Sports Illustrated column in 2006 or, like me, you’ve just come on board recently, one thing hasn’t changed -- how easy it is to help. $10 sends a net and saves a life. This means truly anyone can become a Champion in the fight against malaria -- from the kid with a lemonade stand, to the CEO who can make a 6-figure gift. Every donation counts towards our goal of covering a continent with life-saving nets.
Editor’s Note: For the 5-year anniversary of the Nothing But Nets campaign, we’ve asked our team to look back at their favorite moments of the last five years and will post their blogs here leading up to our anniversary on November 14th. Send us your Nothing But Nets story and we might feature you too!
I’ve worked for the Nothing But Nets campaign for about two and a half years. I started my job shortly after finishing graduate school, and I felt lucky just to be employed! I quickly learned I was lucky to be part of this campaign for so many reasons. As a former Model United Nations delegate, I enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the work of the UN. I also get to work with amazing Nothing But Nets supporters who help protect children across Africa from malaria -- a cause I deeply care about.
On October 31st, the world will welcome its 7 billionth child -- the 7 billionth reason to take action in the fight against malaria. Did you know that around half the world is at risk of contracting malaria? Even though we have the tools to stop the spread of malaria, the deadly disease still kills a child in Africa every 45 seconds.
With 7 billion people on the planet, the need to send nets and save lives has never been more pressing. Thankfully, hundreds of thousands of Nothing But Nets supporters across the U.S. and the world agree! For almost five years now, supporters, partners, and Champions have helped send life-saving bed nets to help protect million of families across Africa from malaria…and we’re not stopping until every family can sleep safely. Together -- with your help and the help of your NETworks -- we can be the generation to end malaria deaths for good.
Will you join us? There are billions of reasons to join the movement to end malaria!
P.S. - Just for fun, check out this great video about the world at 7 billion from our friends at National Geographic:
For the past few days, I’ve been travelling around Ethiopia to see global health in action. Alongside Kate Dodson, the UN Foundation’s Director of Global Health, and seven congressional delegates -- leading policy staff for Congressmen representing districts across the U.S. -- I’m getting the opportunity to meet with the doctors and officials who plan and distribute life-saving health interventions like vaccines and bed nets, and to sit with the mothers and infants who live longer, healthier lives because of these tools.
This week, Nothing But Nets traveled to one of our favorite cities: Seattle. We were part of the Malaria Forum hosted by one of our longtime partners, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which brought together global health experts from around the world. With so mandy smart and committed people together for the first time in several years, the Forum was bound to make some buzz-worthy headlines -- and it certainly did.
On Day 1, our partners at Roll Back Malaria released a fascinating new report on the great progress we’ve made to date. "Over the last decade, the rapid scale-up of a variety of malaria control interventions has saved an estimated 1.1 million lives in Africa alone, and reduced deaths from malaria by 38%." Additionally, Roll Back Malaria found that several nations are well on their way to being malaria-free. (Read the report here.)
Hear from Bill & Melinda Gates on the progress the world is making in the fight against malaria in this video:
Editor's Note: The Union for Reform Judaism, a longtime Nothing But Nets partner, recently stepped up to help kick off our latest appeal for nets in the Horn of Africa. They’ve made an incredibly generous pledge of $20,000 -- that’s 2,000 life-saving nets for refugee families! Please enjoy this guest blog post from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. (Originally published here)
Today begins the holiday of Jewish holiday Sukkot, which we celebrate by building a sukkah, or temporary dwelling, that serves as a means to commemorate the Israelites' journey through the desert as they awaited entry into the Promised Land. Through the sukkah we better understand the vulnerability of living within frail walls and under a porous roof. Yet while we are able to take down these structures after seven days, many around the world involuntary live in their own "sukkot" everyday - in tented refugee camps.
Recognizing this, four years ago on Sukkot, the Reform Jewish Movement launched a partnership with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, with a pledge to raise $500,000 for the purchase and distribution of malaria-preventing bed nets. Bed nets are a simple, life-saving solution that can curb the spread of malaria by up to 90 percent. A net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and educate the recipient on its proper use. Through this campaign, we're reversing the trends of global poverty, one net at a time, one family at a time.
Today, I’m on my way to the Horn of Africa. Over the past few months, it seems all eyes have turned toward this region, where the worst drought in decades has led to widespread famine -- forcing hundreds of thousands of families to leave their homes and move into refugee camps for basic necessities like food, water, and shelter.
Yet there is one more thing these families need: bed nets. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has asked Nothing But Nets to help send 150,000 life-saving nets to the refugees in the Horn of Africa as quickly as possible. Paul Spiegel, Chief of Public Health at UNHCR, told us: "Malaria is a leading cause of death among refugees. In addition to food and water, we need bed nets to keep these families safe."
Refugee camps are crowded and typically located on swampy plots of land, creating an environment where malaria-carrying mosquitoes multiply quickly and easily spread the disease between people -- but access to insecticide-treated bed nets can help curb the spread of malaria by up to 90 percent.