MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Wed 25-Apr-18 10:19:03

Guest post: “There is so much we feel helpless about in the world - but helping to prevent malaria is easy.”

On World Malaria Day, Jenny Kent calls for urgent action to prevent the recent strides against the disease from stalling

Jenny Kent

Against Malaria Foundation

Posted on: Wed 25-Apr-18 10:19:03


Lead photo

The burden of malaria is huge - the poorest are the worst affected.

Today is World Malaria Day.

I am calling on all you brilliant Mumsnetters to do something amazing.

Malaria kills 400,000 people a year and makes 400 million fall sick. Of those who die, 70% are children under five. This equates to the equivalent of three 747s full of pre-schoolers dying from malaria every day. Malaria is one of the single largest killers of pregnant women in the world. Children and pregnant women are the worst affected because of their undeveloped/compromised immunity and 90% of malarial deaths and illness are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Yet no-one need die. While there is so much we feel helpless about in the world, helping prevent malaria is easy.

Today there will be around 660,000 visitors to Mumsnet.

If each of us were to donate £1.40 to AMF, we would raise 660,0000 nets that would protect 1.2m people, prevent 440 deaths and 440,000 cases of malaria.

Mumsnet is wonderful because of its huge community – a net(work) of people making life better by being connected. That ‘net’ could extend to cover thousands more, and literally save lives.

A simple bed net, treated with a (safe) long-lasting insecticide protects two people for three years. It costs £1.40

The Against Malaria Foundation was set up by fellow (and early!) Mumsnetter Rob Mather in 2004 when he heard that ‘the equivalent of seven jumbo jets full of children under five die from malaria every day’.

Recent strides against the disease are at risk of stalling due to lack of funding – 5 million more cases were reported in 2016 than the year before.

Twelve years on, it is now three jumbo jets, largely due to the use of bed nets, so progress is being made.

Rob thought of his own four children sleeping safely each night and wanted to do something to help. Since then he has raised US$160 million. The charity he set up, AMF, has been ranked the #1 charity in the world on the basis of ‘lives saved and health outcomes improved’ by all of the world’s leading independent charity evaluators. A clean sweep. # 1 ranked by GiveWell for six of the last seven years and currently; Giving What We Can and The Life You Can Save have had AMF as #1 ranked since 2012. AMF is accountable, transparent and effective in its work which has in part driven these extraordinary rankings. You can check the data yourself – AMF’s distributions of LLINs reduces sickness and saves lives. Here's how.

Every donation is allocated to a specific net distribution, and the donor informed, so you can see exactly where your net is distributed. AMF counts beds and heads in each village, distributes exactly that number of nets, checks that they are being used, and tracks data of malaria incidence throughout. They publish all their data.

The burden of malaria is huge - the poorest are the worst affected. For every person that dies of malaria, many more fall sick, meaning they can’t work, teach, drive, go to school, farm, function. If the humanitarian reason for donating to AMF isn’t enough, there is an economic reason: for every £1 spent on malaria, there is a £12 improvement in African GDP – the wealth of the continent. A 12 to 1 return. If we want to help Africa out of the situation we find it in, beating malaria is one of the most significant things we can do.

Recent strides against the disease are at risk of stalling due to lack of funding – 5 million more cases were reported in 2016 than the year before, and western governments are increasingly cutting aid budgets that might help. Resistance has increased in the mosquito population, which is why AMF works closely with the London and Liverpool schools of Tropical Medicine.

But success is possible. Sri Lanka has been declared malaria-free having had no reported cases in the last three years. Control is possible, it just needs a lot of nets.

This is where we come in. We can make a real difference. Your donation of £1.40 would protect 2 people when they sleep at night for three years, so every net matters.

For the price of a cup of coffee (or not even) you will have done something really wonderful. How fantastic if together we make a real-life bedtime story we’d love to tell our children tonight?

Let’s do this - you can donate here.

By Jenny Kent

Twitter: @AgainstMalaria

GhostsToMonsoon Wed 25-Apr-18 14:54:43

We do an annual donation to Against Malaria that I set up after reading about the charity on GiveWell, or it might have been Giving What We Can. It is shocking that malaria is still such a big killer when these nets can dramatically reduce the chance of getting it.

JamieVardysHavingAParty Wed 25-Apr-18 15:43:08

I will donate tonight.

MollyAA Wed 25-Apr-18 20:17:37

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missymousey Thu 26-Apr-18 13:13:32

Done. Feeling warm and fluffy now grin Thanks for raising awareness of this.

AngkorWaat Thu 26-Apr-18 20:10:22

I’m sold. Me and the kids will donate tonight.

fenneltea Fri 27-Apr-18 09:24:16

Excellent cause, for such a small amount of money it has a massive impact. Will be donating.


KanyeWesticle Wed 02-May-18 15:48:13

AMF looks fantastic and makes such an impact with it's (relatively) small funds. Thanks for giving them a platform Mumsnet. This is a brilliant use of mumsnet's reach and strength.

Have donated, and am bumping this thread.

leslie88976 Wed 09-May-18 16:40:01

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