Each year, Bill Gates writes an Annual Letter on the issues he considers most important, both personally and for our partner, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with a particular focus on global health. His third Annual Letter was released this morning, and highlighted malaria and the progress being made globally to meet the goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015. He even mentioned the work of Nothing But Nets supporters and partners!
Check out an excerpt from the letter:
The fight against malaria is making very good progress. The death toll, overwhelmingly of young children in Africa, went down from 985,000 in 2000 to 781,000 in 2009. Of the 99 countries with malaria, 43 have decreased cases of the disease by more than 50 percent. Turkmenistan and Morocco were recently declared malaria-free. For these communities the reduction in both death and sickness makes a huge difference. And it is possible only because of increased donor spending, which reached $1.5 billion in 2009.
The Roll Back Malaria group, with strong support from the WHO and our foundation, has set an aggressive goal to provide bed nets to almost every household that needs them in the next few years. As coverage goes up from its current level of 42 percent, it will have a dramatic impact. In Senegal, where 80 percent of households own a bed net, the number of malaria cases went down 41 percent in a single year. Many amazing grassroots groups are helping with the delivery of bed nets. The Nothing But Nets campaign, for example, has gotten hundreds of thousands of individual citizens and organizations like the United Methodist Church and the National Basketball Association involved in the fight against malaria.