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By: Emile Dawisha

Campaign Quarterly: January 2019

January 18 2019

Impact Spotlight: Using Technology to Eliminate Malaria with Digicel

Digicel, Haiti’s largest telecommunications provider, has joined the global fight to wipe out malaria on the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Digicel has partnered with Nothing But Nets and Malaria Zero – a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led consortium comprised of NGO’s, universities, and local ministries of health – to provide mobile technology for a network of community health workers.  

Equipped with 3G-capable tablet PCs, these health workers go door-to-door providing malaria assessment, diagnosis, education, and referrals. The tablets allow them to gather and access vital health information with the touch of a fingertip. This information feeds into a disease surveillance system that monitors the prevalence and potential outbreaks of malaria at a community level.

Malaria Zero has thus far trained and deployed 51 health workers throughout Grand Anse, a rural and hard-to-reach region in southwestern Haiti with limited access to health care. This region carries more than half of the country’s malaria burden.

Over the next two years, this health-worker network (which will grow to 130) will screen tens of thousands of Grand Anse residents for malaria and other diseases.

The tablet PCs are manufactured by a Haitian company, Surtab, based out of Port-au-Prince. Launched in 2013, Surtab is the first company to manufacture tablet PCs in Haiti. Surtab’s employees, over 90% of whom are women, receive at least triple the minimum wage and health benefits.

Not only has Surtab empowered its workers, but its product is also improving the lives of Haitians. The tablets are produced for commercial sale, but they are also used to increase efficiency in education, healthcare and agriculture programs.

We are so thankful that Digicel and Surtab have joined Nothing But Nets and Malaria Zero in the fight to achieve a major global health milestone: malaria elimination in Hispaniola, which would effectively make the Caribbean a malaria-free region!  

Champion Spotlight: Top 5 Reasons to Attend the 2019 Leadership Summit

The annual Nothing But Nets Leadership Summit (March 24-26 in Washington DC) is just around the corner. Here are the top five reasons why you should attend our campaign’s marquee event. 

  1. Participate in the world’s largest global grassroots movement to end malaria. Each year, the Nothing But Nets Leadership Summit brings together hundreds of our most passionate champions, donors, and partners from all over the country. The Summit gives our supporters an opportunity to engage deeper in the fight against malaria and learn how to make an impact in their community. Check out this video to see highlights of last year’s Summit.

  2. Gain valuable leadership and community organizing skills that can help you become an effective leader in your community. The Summit’s Sunday and Monday programming includes workshops and trainings that help attendees become better advocates and community organizers. These are valuable skills that can be used beyond the fight against malaria.

  3. Meet with your Members of Congress to discuss life-saving malaria prevention and elimination programs. On Tuesday, Summit attendees take to Capitol Hill for the Summit’s annual Advocacy Day. Attendees meet with their Senators and Representatives to emphasize the impact and critical importance of malaria programs like the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight Tuberculosis, HIV and Malaria.

  4. Hear from Nothing But Nets celebrity champions and spokespersons about how they’re inspiring others to join the fight against malaria. Among last year’s Summit speakers were Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, actress Alexandra Daddario, and TV broadcaster/malaria survivor Charlie Webster.

  5. Celebrate the impact we’ve made! Our supporters call their members of Congress, host fundraisers, and make presentations to their classmates and congregations. The Summit is an opportunity to thank and recognize these incredible efforts, and to highlight the progress we’ve made towards global eradication. Together, we can end malaria within this generation!

If you’re interested in attending or to get additional information, please check out our Leadership Summit webpage or contact Max Antman (202-415-9324; mantman@unfoundation.org).

Partner Spotlight: Al Ansari Exchange

Few companies worldwide have made a greater impact on the fight against malaria than the Al Ansari Exchange. The UAE-based foreign exchange and money transfer company has donated more than $1.4 million to a variety of Nothing But Nets initiatives. This Fall, Al Ansari Exchange pledged $50,000 to help Nothing But Nets fight the escalating malaria crisis in Nigeria’s Borno state, where more than half of recorded deaths are due to malaria. The company’s contribution will provide thousands of life-saving bed nets to families in Borno. Since the contribution comes as a matching challenge, all gifts to Nothing But Nets from Dec. 27-31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000. Don’t miss your chance to double your impact!

In previous years, the Al Ansari Exchange has funded the training of over 4,000 volunteers in Sierra Leone, who distributed over 800,000 nets and educated recipients on proper use. The company also funded the distribution of 60,000 life-saving bed nets delivered to approximately 120,000 Central African Republic refugees and community members. These nets have brought hope, health, and peace of mind to millions of people who live under constant threat from malaria. 

The Al Ansari Exchange’s humanitarian aid is not limited to fighting malaria. The company has donated millions of dollars to advance polio eradication and fight neglected tropical diseases. Most recently, Al Ansari Exchange made a $1 million donation to UNICEF in response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Funding will improve obstetric care for thousands of mothers and newborns in two Yemeni hospitals.

Al Ansari Exchange was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The company has over 180 branches and handles over 80,000 currency-exchange and remittance transactions per day. We at Nothing But Nets are so thankful for our continued partnership with Al Ansari Exchange and applaud the company’s commitment to saving lives in some of the world’s most vulnerable and overlooked regions.   

What’s Next: Fighting Malaria in Venezuela

Gripped by one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, Venezuela has seen malaria rates quadruple in just two years. Among the many contributing factors is a severe shortage of bed nets and anti-malarial treatments.

Nothing But Nets is working to partner with pharmaceutical companies to facilitate the donation of anti-malarial treatments as to alleviate needless suffering and death.

The treatments, which will be distributed by our UN partners in the coming months, will have an immediate and far-reaching impact on hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Venezuelan families.

In addition, Nothing But Nets is launching a fundraiser in February to support the delivery of 150,000 insecticide-treated bed nets and the treatment doses to protect families and communities in Venezuela.

If you would like more information about this fundraiser, or to pledge your support, please contact Emile Dawisha (edawisha@unfoundation.org).

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