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AMF funds 2.7 million nets for Ghana for June 2016 distribution


We have agreed to fund 2.7 million LLINs for distribution in Ghana in June 2016. This will close the net gap in Ghana and achieve universal coverage (all sleeping spaces covered) in three of the ten regions of Ghana: Upper West, Northern and Greater Accra (excluding Metropolitan Accra). These nets will protect 4.9 million people.

The nets will be distributed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) under the management of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

AMF will work closely with both organisations and with in-country distribution partners who will have responsibility for:

  • Ensuring reconciliation of nets distributed with nets funded through detailed review of household-level records and associated monitoring
  • Post-distribution check-ups (PDCUs) of net use and condition at six monthly intervals for a period of 30 months.

AMF will fund the distribution partners’ work. We are finalizing the micro-planning for this and will publish full details and documentation in the coming weeks.

Distribution details: Upper West Region, Northern Region and Greater Accra Region
Further information on Ghana


Zika virus: Are bednets an effective measure?


Zika is certainly a major international challenge and the WHO is expected to raise its awareness.

The virus is mainly transmitted by the ubiquitous mosquito Aedes aegypti. This common mosquito bites during the day and therefore the main approach to its control is either removing the breeding sites, 'source reduction', or 'space spraying' by house to house insecticide fogging or truck mounted spraying (ULV, ultra-low volume). Personal protection by the use of insect repellents and screening windows is also a very important approach.

This means the use of bednets is generally of marginal benefit in attacking these day-biting mosquitoes. At AMF, we focus exclusively on the provision of bednets for malaria control. We don’t have experience of controlling day-biting mosquitoes, such as those transmitting dengue, yellow-fever and Zika.


December 2015 Update


As 2015 draws to a close we would like to thank all who have supported and worked with AMF this year as without donors, distribution partners, volunteers and pro bono supporters we would not be able to do what we do in contributing to the fight against malaria. Thank you!

Distribution update

We have just completed, or are currently carrying out, three distributions in Malawi (Balaka and Ntcheu districts) and DRC (North Ubangi district) totalling 1.37 million nets, protecting 2.5 million people.

Post-distribution net use check-ups

There are post-distribution net use check-ups just completed or ongoing in four locations ensuring we have data on how the protection of communities changes over time.

Future distributions

We have made significant progress with discussions in five countries requiring individually between 2 million and 15 million nets for the period 2016 to 2018 and expect to make announcement in the first part of 2016.

We are aiming to secure a further US$50 million for the projects we are currently considering.

AMF top ranked!

AMF has again been top-ranked by the three leading organisations 'dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities'.

GiveWell has ranked AMF their #1 charity, for the fourth time in five years, and recommends to donors:
"For those seeking our recommended allocation, we simply recommend giving to the top-ranked charity on the list, which is AMF."

Giving What We Can has confirmed AMF is again a top-ranked charity for the fifth year in a row.

The Life You Can Save has AMF as a top-ranked charity for the fifth year in a row.
 

US$22.8m grant

We are absolutely thrilled to have recently been awarded a US$22.8m grant by Good Ventures, the San Francisco based philanthropic foundation. We see this grant as transformational for AMF, allowing us to support larger scale distributions.

We are also delighted to have received two US$1,000,000 donations from US based donors, who visited one of our programmes and carried out detailed due diligence before making this commitment.

A suggestion for the Christmas/Holiday season!

Donate nets instead of gifts.

We send the recipient/s an email (on a date you choose e.g. 25th Dec) with your personal message and a link to their 'gift page', allowing them to follow the progress of their nets.

May we wish you a very happy and healthy 2016!

Rob, Andrew, Cath and Peter


The Life You Can Save rates AMF a top charity for 2016, the fifth year running!


The Life You Can Save (TLYCS) has updated its list of recommended charities and we are delighted to be included again.

TLYCS highlight in their review 'Why AMF is effective':

  • Designed for long-term impact
  • Proven results
  • Effective monitoring and evaluation
  • Economically beneficial
  • Cost-effective
  • Efficient
  • Exceptionally low overheads

Please do have a look at the two new engaging videos put together by TLYCS, What Will Your Impact Be and Where Will You Give (This Giving Season), which include music from Malawian musician Gasper Nali.

More: The Life You Can Save


US$22.8m grant to AMF from Good Ventures


We are absolutely thrilled to have recently been awarded a US$22.8m grant by Good Ventures, the San Francisco based philanthropic foundation.

We see this grant as transformational for AMF

It is the largest grant AMF has ever received and it will make a huge impact on fighting malaria, saving many lives, reducing illness and boosting economic growth.

It comes at an exciting time for AMF as we work to expand the scale of the projects we support to multiple millions of nets at a time, including helping countries close net gaps so that entire populations are protected.

Every single donation is important, no matter how large, in the fight against malaria

There is a huge gap between the funding available and the net need. We never forget that every $3 buys a net and protects two people when they sleep at night, potentially from the bite of a malaria-carrying mosquito.

There are now over 133,000 donations to AMF. Together we have built a community that will keep the fight against malaria high on the international agenda. We are aiming to secure a further US$50+m for the projects we are currently considering. Aside the occasional marvellous large donation, the overwhelming number of AMF’s donations are from donors giving less than $200 and we are incredibly grateful for every one of them.

Good Ventures announcement


Question to AMF: 'Where are your nets manufactured?'


The short answer is Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, China) and Africa (Tanzania, and in the past Malawi).

There are a series of companies that supply nets who are all WHOPES Phase II approved (World Health Organisation Pesticide Evaluation Scheme). This is the body that evaluates nets and designates individual products safe for use after appropriate lab and field testing. They publish all testing results.

Vestergaard, who produce PermaNet nets, and Sumitomo Vector Control, who produce Olyset nets, are two of the bigger manufacturers and they are the two organisations from whom we have bought the majority of our nets so far. Vestergaard are a Danish company and Sumitomo a Japanese company and they both have offices in a number of locations around the world.

Purchasing decisions are based largely, but not entirely, on price.

Nets are effectively a textile so there are economies of scale in manufacturing. Global demand means there are a relatively small number of facilities needed to produce the number of nets required. Scale economies mean it would not be cost effective to locate a manufacturing facility in all or most countries that have a high net need. However, Africa-based location could reduce logistics costs, improve the speed of supply (shipping currently takes two months or so) and benefit the local economy.

Vestergaard and Sumitomo supply the majority of their nets from Asia, typically Vietnam, Thailand and China. There are manufacturing facilities other than in Asia. For example, there is a facility in Tanzania that is a joint venture between Sumitomo and a local company. There are/were plans for other facilities in Nigeria and Ethiopia but we are not current on the situation there.

The majority of the nets we have bought to date have been from Asia but we have bought significant quantities from the facility in Tanzania and from a supplier in Malawi. When we required 130,000 nets to protect 130,000 boarding school children in Tanzania we purchased from the Tanzanian supplier. A further 150,000, 235,000 and 322,500 nets have been supplied from Africa.

Our first obligation is to protect as many people as we can with the funds we have available. If the lowest price is therefore from Asian supply, that is where we are likely to buy. However, we are conscious of assisting local economies where we can, so if the difference between two quotes is marginal, an order can end up with a local supplier.

See also a related post from 2011


GiveWell ranks AMF #1 charity for fourth time in five years!


GiveWell has updated its top charity list and we are delighted to be ranked as their #1 charity!

"The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) is one of our top-rated charities, and an organization that we feel offers donors an outstanding opportunity to accomplish good with their donations."

GiveWell conducts extensive research with a particularly high level of rigour and analysis and to date has spent hundreds of hours investigating AMF and our work including a distribution site visit to Africa.

GiveWell comments, "For those seeking our recommended allocation, we simply recommend giving to the top-ranked charity on the list, which is AMF."

More: GiveWell homepage, Top charities blogpost, Review of AMF


Recent donations to AMF, including two US$1 million donations!


Here is an update of the donations received by AMF in the first four months of our financial year. Every donation we receive is extremely important as every net matters.

  • Large donations
    • We are thrilled to have received two US$1,000,000 donations from US based donors, who visited our program and carried out detailed due diligence before making this commitment. The first is from the Foundation for the Greatest Good and the second is from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
    • A grant of £50,000 per year for five years from a foundation in the UK.
    • $577,000 from a total of twelve donors in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Austria.
       
  • Individual donations through the website
    • 12,444 donations (+89% on the same period last year) totalling $4,610,452 (+594%).
       
  • Recurring donations
    • 1,764 recurring donors currently contribute $101,000 per month as of November 2015.

We appreciate every donation, yet the fight to control and eliminate malaria remains a huge task. The projects we are currently assessing have a need well in excess of our funds: $99.6m is needed against $18.6m available.

We expect to make further announcements in the next several months detailing where the nets we fund will be distributed.

Thank you to every single one of our supporters. You can see your 'real-time' donations, updated automatically each time a donation is made.


Smartphone technology being used in post-distribution monitoring in West Kasaï, DRC


The data collection phase of the 12-months post-distribution net use check-up (PDCU) in West Kasaï is underway.

  • Smartphones are being used for data collection (screenshots of the process, and instructional videos that may be used)
  • Valuable lessons were learned in the 6-month PDCU survey regarding the order and structure of questions. This has been improved to ensure the specific data required is fully captured
  • 170 smartphones being used by data collectors 
  • 12,800 households (5% sample) selected at random being visited unannounced across 578 villages in 8 health zones 
  • The data collection phase will take place from 7th to 30th November
The PDCU gives all relevant parties data about net hang up and net condition and can contribute to ongoing malaria control decisions. There are now indications that the use of smartphones in data collection brings cost and other efficiencies. We will report more fully on this in the months ahead.
 

Dedza District, Malawi: 12-months post-distribution check-up data entry


The data collection phase of the 12-months post-distribution net use check-up (PDCU) in Dedza District, Malawi, is now complete.  Five percent of households, randomly selected, across 33 health centre areas in the district have been visited, unannounced, to assess net use and condition.
 
The data are now being entered in Malawi and may be viewed as they are entered. As soon as all data have been entered we will publish a summary of the results.
 
The specific nature of the data - at the health centre level - means the District Health Officer (DHO), health centre leaders, community leaders and other health workers are able to decide what targeted malaria control intervention might be appropriate in specific areas. In circumstances where health systems and resources are stretched, information that assists with targeted interventions can help with effective use of resources and that is the aim of this information.
 
Background: 290,770 LLINs were distributed in Dedza District in September and October 2014.
 

Malaria deaths down by 60% and 663 million cases stopped in Africa in the last 15 years


Two reports, one in the journal Nature and another by the World Health Organisation, provide information on progress against malaria. Insecticide treated bed nets were responsible for 68% of the reduction in malaria cases.
  • Malaria death rates have fallen 60% globally since 2000
  • 663 million cases have been prevented in Africa over the past 15 years
     - 68% of the reduction due to the distribution of a billion bed nets
     - 22% was attributed to the treatment artemisinin
     - 10% to spraying homes with insecticide
  • The number of infections fell by 50% across the continent
  • Africa still accounts for 80% of cases and 78% of deaths
  • 13 countries that had malaria in 2000 reported no cases in 2014 while a further six countries had fewer than ten cases
Quotes from a BBC article:
"Bed nets were responsible for the vast majority of the decrease."
"...despite the progress, the job is far from done. A child still dies from malaria every minute in Africa."
"Eight African countries are aiming to eliminate the disease by 2020 including Namibia."
"We know how to prevent and treat malaria. Since we can do it, we must."
 

Sharing information on the process to achieve DGR status in Australia


We have had a number of questions regarding our application to achieve DGR status in Australia and we are happy to share the following information in case it can assist other organisations considering their charitable status in Australia.
 
This is the process we followed to achieve DGR status:
  • We applied to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to be considered for Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) status. Application documentsupport document
  • PBI status was granted by the ACNC six weeks after our application was submitted. Our experience was the ACNC were super-efficient, thorough, and always helpful and courteous. We were impressed throughout.
  • Once PBI status was granted we applied to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to be considered for a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) endorsement.
  • DGR status was granted by the ATO four weeks after our application. Our experience was the ATO were efficient and always helpful and courteous.
The main difference between this application process and prior (unsuccessful) efforts was the application for PBI status to the ACNC rather than an Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme (OAGDS) application to AusAid. We are happy to help with questions if contacted directly.
 

AMF (Australia) granted DGR status (tax deductibility for donors)


We are delighted to say AMF now has tax deductible status for donors in Australia!
 
AMF (Australia) has been granted Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status effective 04 August 2015 by the Australian Taxation Office so any donations made to AMF (Australia) on or after that date can be considered tax deductible by the donor.

Note: All online donations from Australian residents (as identified by the credit or debit card address being in Australia) are automatically to AMF (Australia). For those wishing to make donations by bank transfer or cheque, the relevant bank account and address information can be found on our donations page.
 
 

Balaka District, Malawi: 18-months post-distribution check-up underway


The 18-months post-distribution net use check-up (PDCU) is now underway in Balaka District, Malawi.  Five percent of households, randomly selected, across 14 health centre areas in the district are being visited, unannounced, to assess net use and condition.
 
The data are being entered in Malawi now and may be viewed as they are entered. As soon as all data have been entered we will publish a summary of the results.
 
The specific nature of the data - at the health centre level - means the District Health Officer (DHO), health centre leaders, community leaders and other health workers are able to decide what targeted malaria control intervention might be appropriate in specific areas. In circumstances where health systems and resources are stretched, information that assists with targeted interventions can help with effective use of resources and that is the aim of this information.
 
Background: Almost 154,230 LLINs were distributed in Balaka District in October and November 2013.
 

Dedza District, Malawi: 6-months post-distribution check-up results


The key results from the post-distribution check-up (PDCU) of net use and condition six months after the mass distribution of 245,000 LLINs are: 

- 94% of nets hung
- 57% in 'very good' condition, 36% in 'good' condition

9,100 households (5% of those that initially received nets) and 15,676 nets were surveyed.
 
These are strong results.
 
We publish the full PDCU results and the PDCU Report as well as the PDCU Planning Document on the Dedza distribution page.
 

German bank account opened


AMF (Germany) has recently opened an in-country EUR account to allow German donors to more easily make donations by bank transfer. All donations by German citizens are tax-deductible as AMF (Germany) is a registered charity with donee tax-deductible status.

You can find more details on the our charity and tax-deductible status in Germany, and other countries, on our Charity Status page and details of ways to donate online and offline on our donations page.

 


Understanding malaria: a quick overview of its wider effects


Although this article is from 2002, it provides a useful overview on why malaria has the impact it does. It gives an insight, for example, into why it affects the education and work opportunities of women. While the number of deaths and cases of illness from malaria have come down over the last ten years through all the efforts of communities and the aid community, the content of this article is still very relevant today.

 


Real-time financial reporting


Consistent with our aims of being transparent and efficient, our real-time accounts for the current financial year are now publicly available. They are updated automatically when a donation is made or a cost added to our records.
 
At any time during the financial year donors and other stakeholders can see our year-to-date financial numbers.
 
We are able to do this as an automatic system sits behind all funds movements - donations, expenditures and, from an accounting perspective, accruals - so we know our financial position at any time.
 
This information is available as a by-product of the automation of our financial systems, the benefits of which we have written about previously.
 

Application submitted for DGR status in Australia


We have submitted an application to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) as we seek Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. If granted, this would allow donors to make donations to AMF (Australia) and receive a tax deduction on their donation. We understand we can expect to hear from the ACNC in a matter of weeks although we do not know how many. As soon as we have news we will post an update.


US$6m commitment to malaria control support in Malawi in 2018


Summary
 
AMF and Concern Universal, Malawi (CU) have accepted the Malawi National Malaria Control Programme’s (NMCP) invitation to assume responsibility for the district-wide net distribution re-coverage campaigns in Ntcheu, Balaka, Dedza and Dowa districts in 2018. These are the four districts in which the AMF/CU partnership has distributed nets in 2012, 2014 and will in all districts in 2015. This timing is consistent with the three year re-coverage cycle needed to keep affected populations protected from malaria-carrying mosquitoes when they sleep at night.
 
Forward planning benefits all partners
 
The planning horizon for NMCPs, so they can secure funds to protect populations at risk, is three to four years. Hence, these future distributions being considered now.
 
This timeframe allows AMF to plan and secure funding in good time. Having specific projects to present to potential donors can help secure funds.
 
It allows Concern Universal to better plan and manage staff knowing the projects they will be working on several years ahead. Staff can be engaged on a permanent, multi-year basis, rather than on a project basis and the team can develop specific experience to manage and deliver all aspects of a distribution with increasing efficiency.
 
The combination of a portfolio of four districts, with each having seven interventions across a three year period (a pre-distribution registration survey, a distribution and five six-monthly post-distribution check-ups), and the staggered timing of the distributions and other interventions, allows an efficient and cost-effective deployment of staff and other resources.
 
Extended contribution to malaria control activities
 
Currently, CU’s malaria control activities are focused on carrying out universal coverage net distributions and their follow-up, and monitoring malaria case rate data.
 
The continuity of involvement in these districts will allow CU to deepen collaboration with District Health Officers (DHOs) and their teams and assist in other areas of malaria control, for example with systems and capacity building. Working closely with health centre management teams may lead to improvements in malaria diagnosis and the accuracy of malaria data collected.
 
Context: AMF and CU’s ultimate aim
 
AMF and CU’s ultimate aim is for our support for malaria control not to be needed. This will be the case if malaria is reduced to a very low level and/or if a population at risk from malaria is able to buy the nets they need and free-to-recipient distributions are not required. Currently, neither are the case. Carrying out three or four cycles of mass distribution of nets, if done well, can play a major role in bringing down the level of malaria in a population so that either or both of these objectives can be met.
 

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