LILONGWE — Malaria remains a leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly among children under five years old. The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) aims to control the spread of malaria by funding the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets in developing countries.
AMF provides insecticide-treated mosquito nets to other nonprofits and government partners for disbursement in developing countries. So far, AMF has facilitated the distribution of 22 million nets in Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Uganda, Togo and Papua New Guinea. An additional three million nets have been committed for distribution in Zambia. This project is projected to conclude before the end of 2017.
On average, 400 million people are infected with malaria every year and 500,000 people die from the disease. Seventy percent of malaria-related fatalities are children under five years old. Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria remains the top economic drain on Africa’s economy. For every $1 million spent successfully fighting the spread of malaria in Africa, the continent’s GDP increases by $12 million.
AMF funds the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLIN) in developing countries with high malaria occurrences. These nets are highly effective in containing the disease and bed-net coverage has been determined to be one of the most important contributors to reducing the spread of malaria.
To efficiently distribute LLINs, the organization first identifies countries with funding gaps for LLINs by consulting sources like the Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP), the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. Once a country is selected, AMF partners with local nonprofits or government entities to disburse the nets. These partners register local families by going door-to-door to determine individual household needs.
Once a district’s needs are determined, AMF orders the nets and ships them to the partner for distribution. AMF always pays for the LLINs, but disbursement costs are shared between the two organizations or shouldered by the partner agency. Nets are either handed out door-to-door or brought to a community center for pickup. AMF then funds follow-up surveys at six-month intervals to determine the effectiveness of the nets and how many of the distributed LLINs are used properly.
On average, LLINs cost $2.41. GiveWell estimates that the total cost of a net, including shipping and distribution, is $4.22. AMF uses 100 percent of public donations to purchase nets.
More information on the work done by the Against Malaria Foundation and ways to help can be found at the organization’s website.
– Katherine Parks