Did you know that one of the biggest causes of human death is preventable? Each year, half a million people die of malaria, and 70% of these individuals are under the age of five. This means that one child dies of malaria in Africa every 30 seconds. 90% of malaria victims reside in sub-Saharan Africa, where there is a greater risk of falling prey to malaria-carrying mosquitoes, especially at night. The Against Malaria Foundation affirms that bed nets “are a proven intervention – a more effective way of saving lives than any other”. Sleeping under a net prevents people from getting bitten by mosquitoes that could give them malaria. Each malaria net costs $2.50, and for every 100-1,000 nets that are distributed and installed, one life is saved. The Against Malaria Foundation has taken on the responsibility of using donations to provide nets to those most in need, making them one of the most effective charities that exists.
Photo: Kat Yukawa on Unsplash
Young children are especially susceptible to malaria because it takes time for people to build up a resistance to the disease, and young children often have immune systems that are not strong enough to fight it off. Young children who survive malaria are able to build up resistance over time if they are repeatedly infected, but many are unable to survive. As a result, many of the malaria deaths are among young children rather than adults, some of whom may have already survived malaria infections.
Not only is malaria a significant humanitarian issue, but it is also an extremely relevant economic issue. Malaria creates a huge drag on Africa’s economy. Having so many people die each year is in itself a disadvantage economically, but there are also 400 million people each year who fall sick with malaria and during that time are unable to perform their jobs, further harming the economy. Every $1 million that is spent fighting malaria raises Africa’s GDP by $12 million, so clearly investing in the fight against malaria has clear humanitarian and economic benefits.
The main way you can contribute to the Against Malaria Foundation is through donations. The organization uses 100% of its public donations to buy long-lasting insecticidal (LLIN) nets, and since each one costs only $2.50, it is relatively inexpensive to purchase nets for many people. These LLIN nets act as a physical barrier against mosquitoes and also have insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact. For every 33 nets that are put in place (which you can do with a $100 donation), 55-65 people are protected against malaria.
This organization has become so reputable because all the money donated goes to such good use. If you are going to donate to a charity, donating to the Against Malaria Foundation is probably the way for you to do the most good in the world, and while there is still much more to do in the fight against malaria, each net makes a difference, and when thousands donate, the number adds up!
To join in the effort, visit www.AgainstMalaria.com. Thanks for reading, and remember to donate!