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News for 2012 - Show latest items

$14 million and 55 thousand donors

We have just reached the $14 million milestone, only a few weeks after passing $13 million!

We have received donations both large and small and every $4 matters as every net matters.

100% of the funds we have received will buy nets and all donors will be able to see exactly where the nets they fund are distributed. 

$13 million raised and 3 million nets funded so far

We have just passed the $13 million mark, thanks to a donor from San Francisco, USA!

Every donation from every person counts as the total of $13,120,514 from over 54,000 donations and transactions, in 168 countries, indicates. 100% buys nets.

That's 3,038,427 nets, protecting more than 5 million people.

Thank you! 


2012 highlights

2012 has been a good year for Against Malaria. With your support we have almost reached the $13 million raised mark and we would like to share a few of the highlights with you.
Malaria in Ntcheu, Malawi falls by up to 50%
After a major distribution of 270,000 nets in locations across Ntcheu we have been collecting data on the incidence of malaria in each location and monitoring the continued use and condition of the nets. more
#1 ranked
GiveWell ranked us #1 for the second year running, saying "AMF has outstanding self-evaluation and transparency. It first became our #1 charity in late 2011 and has continued to impress us." more
Updated website
We have revamped our website and added even more information on the workings of the charity, in keeping with our emphasis on transparency with all aspects of our work. We have made improvements to many other pages and added the ability to make a donation as a gift for someone else. more

Best wishes for the holiday season,
Rob and Andrew 

Showing our future distributions

In the coming months we intend to publish status information for each potential distribution being assessed. Information will be presented in a format similar to that shown on our Future distributions page.


AMF has been ranked #1 for the second year running!

We are delighted to say GiveWell has just announced its updated top charity ranking... and AMF has been ranked #1 for the second year running!
GiveWell has said, "...of all the charitable interventions we know of that have clear room for more funding, this one has the strongest evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. AMF has outstanding self-evaluation and transparency. It first became our #1 charity in late 2011 and has continued to impress us."
Read their announcement and the detailed review of our charity for more details.

Recently approved distributions and others being assessed

Recently approved 
We have approved a distribution of 250,000 nets in the districts of Balaka and Dedza in Malawi. The distribution would take sleeping space coverage levels from 30-60% (the level is currently unknown) to 90% and above. We are discussing the funding of non-net costs and the timing of the pre-distribution registration survey with our distribution partner. We expect the distribution to place before the end of Q1 2013.

Update to donors with as yet allocated donations

We have not proceeded with three potential distributions being considered during 2012 in Malawi, Togo and Mali.
Malawi, 600,000 LLINs 
Through January to June 2012 we offered to contribute 600,000 to 1 million nets to close the gap in nets required to achieve universal coverage. The NMCP would not progress discussions about sharing the extensive pre-distribution registration data they said they had. We considered it important for us to see to this information before contributing nets. 

3rd update on our distribution in Ntcheu District, Malawi

We have received the third three-months set of post-distribution malaria case data following the February 2012 distribution of 270,000 nets in Ntcheu District, Malawi. The results continue to be good.

Malaria vaccine update - an additional comment

While recent field trial results for the potential malaria vaccine RTS,S may be disappointing, it is worth noting this is important work and the science may well prove an important contributor to the eventual development of a successful, cost-effective malaria vaccine. From an editorial in The New England Journal Of Medicine by Johanna Daily:

Malaria vaccine update

Everyone involved in malaria control has a fervent wish a malaria vaccine is found.
There is what could be bad news about one potential malaria vaccine.

Malaria outbreak in Greece

Greece has reported a total of more than 70 cases of malaria since the beginning of the year. This is worrying. However, given the relative economic wealth and levels of sanitation and other health services in Greece compared to many African and other malaria affected countries, it can be expected this outbreak can be contained. Read more


Achieving very high levels of net use: Hang-up follow-up in Ntcheu, Malawi.

In Ntcheu, Malawi we conducted the first of the regular 6-monthly Post-Distribution Surveys to assess net use and condition. We found very good results with net hang-up high at 90% across the population of 550,000 people. For 27 of the 37 areas that make up the district the hang-up rate was a very high average of 95% (range: 91-98%). For 10 districts the average was 84% (range 78-88%), 11 percentage points lower. AMF and Concern Universal (CU) both believed it possible to increase the hang-up rate in the 10 areas by 10 percentage points through additional, structured malaria education and hang-up activities with full involvement of the local communities. These activities took place between 23-27 Sep 2012. We expect to receive, and will publish, updated hang-up data for these 10 areas by the end of November 2012. The reason for this additional low-cost intervention was to seek the optimal impact of the nets distributed.

What people say about us

A number of independent charity evaluators review causes and individual charities and make their own giving recommendations.

We have just published a page showing 'What people say about us' and how they rate us in comparison to other charities.


Transparency: Easier-to-understand accounts

We continue to make public, information and data behind the workings of AMF. 
1. Annual accounts – what we file.
2. Easier-to-understand accounts - our audited annual accounts with additional detail added and laid out in a way we believe is clearer than formal accounts.

Status and implications of mosquitoes developing resistance to the insecticide used in LLINs and mosquitoes changing their biting time to early morning.

Mosquitoes developing resistance to the insecticide used in long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and mosquitoes changing their biting (feeding) behaviour and biting not between 10pm and 2am but towards the early morning ie 5am - or rather, in both cases, natural selection occurring favouring those mosquitoes that develop some level of resistance or having a later biting time - is starting to be seen. The extent to which either or both of these factors become a major problem for the effectiveness of LLINs is currently not clear.

An interesting video from Giving What We Can

Giving What We Can appeared on the BBC's Daily Politics show and this short video explains their philosophy. There are some interesting numbers in there from the start (and at the end!).

Past the $12 million mark!

We have just passed the $12 million mark! Thank you to Simon from Melbourne, Australia who has just taken us past that milestone.
Every donation from every person counts as the total of $12,011,000 from nearly 52,000 donations and transactions, in 168 countries, indicates. 100% buys nets.
That's 2,780,528 nets, protecting more than 5 million people.
Thank you! 

Transparency: Recurring donations

Over the coming months we are going to make public, information and data behind the workings of AMF. Transparency is a central element of our philosophy and we hope the information will both be of interest to supporters and donors and help answer questions about how we operate and make decisions.

Recurring donations
Whilst rapid progress can be made against malaria (see recent results in Ntcheu, Malawi), sustained action and sustained support are key to securing permanent malaria reduction. Recurring donations to AMF are one of a number of indices we follow to assess how we are performing and engaging support. They currently represent a small proportion of the funds AMF receives, approximately 5%, but the number and total value of recurring donations is growing. We are publishing here monthly totals for recurring donations so others can see the numbers and follow progress. 100% of these funds buy nets.

GiveWell publishes an update on AMF's progress

GiveWell has recently published an "AMF Update - September 2012".
Their summary is: "Bottom line: We remain confident in the effectiveness of AMF's activities. It remains our #1-ranked organization."

Update to donors with as yet allocated donations

Normally we allocate a donation to a particular distribution within a few weeks or months of receiving it. The allocation of your donation is taking longer and we wanted to explain why and keep you updated.

We are currently evaluating two large distributions of 500,000 and 600,000 nets respectively in two different countries, albeit in the second country the need is for 4 million nets. We have been accumulating donations so we can fund the nets for these significant distributions. We are far advanced in the assessment of one, and at a key stage with the evaluation of the second. These are the distributions to which we have provisionally allocated all current donations. We hope to make final decisions in the coming weeks with exact timing dependent upon responses from the relevant National Malaria Control Programmes and our distribution partners in-country.

However, it is possible, even late in the process, we decide we cannot support a particular distribution. This would be because we could not obtain various data we feel necessary to (1) fully evaluate the distribution (i.e. malaria case rate information and data that reliably establishes the level of net need) and/or (2) underpin the intended distribution (i.e. pre-distribution beneficiary survey information that forms the basis of exactly where the nets are distributed). This was the case in May 2012 for a 600,000 net distribution we were considering in one country. We will not risk donations.

We are developing a pipeline of potential large scale distributions so the time between receiving donations and allocating them to a distribution is minimised. Our aim is for the majority of donations to be allocated within three months of their receipt and for the maximum to be four months.

The success of a recent large scale distribution in Ntcheu, Malawi, where we achieved universal coverage of a population of some 550,000 people via the distribution of 270,000 nets, has guided our focus on these larger distributions. The Ntcheu distribution has resulted in an immediate fall in the incidence of malaria of an estimated 50%. This is very significant and we aim we see the decline continue in Ntcheu as well as replicate this impact in the two distributions we are considering now and in subsequent distributions.


The maths of malaria

Amongst other messages in this short article, there is an interesting example of why it makes economic sense to fight malaria.

Aside improved health, the most fundamental of impacts, malaria control reduces days off work and the malaria drug bill and can have a very quick payback.



In Sri Lanka, malaria incidence has declined by 99.9% since 1999

Whilst different economic, social, geographic and endemic malaria burden conditions exist in different locations, there is no doubt Sri Lanka suffered badly from malaria in the 90s and early 2000s. This decline in malaria incidence as a result of dedicated malaria control efforts is evidence that dramatic declines in malaria are eminently achievable.

You can read more here: http://www.malarianexus.com/news/malaria-nearly-eliminated-in-sri-lanka/, and the details here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0043162


An update on our distribution in Ntcheu District, Malawi

We now have two sets of post-distribution data following the December 2011 to February 2012 distribution of 270,000 nets that achieved universal coverage of a population of 550,000 in Ntcheu District, Malawi and the results are very strong.

A quick summary:  

  1. Malaria rates in March to June 2012 are already 50%, 45%, 40% and 40% lower than in the corresponding months in 2011. 
  2. The six months post-distribution survey of 7,657 households and 15,768 nets showed a hang-up (usage) level of 90% and the percentage of nets in a very good condition is 99% (ninety nine). 
We will continue to collect and publish monthly malaria data and hope to see a continued and sustained decline in malaria rates.
You can read more about the results and see the malaria case rate and survey data online.


50,000th donation!

We have just received our 50,000th donation! (In some cases a single donation received by us actually consists of many hundreds of individual donations, collected as part of a fundraising event.) This milestone donor was Yetzenia Leiva who donated $10 in support of a friend's birthday. Thank you Yetzenia!
We have also just passed US$11,500,000 raised - see our milestones page.
We are currently looking at two significant distributions of 500,000 nets each and hope to make decisions very shortly. Each distribution would protect approximately 900,000 people.

Bill Gates on malaria

In the light of recent reviews of the progress in the fight against malaria we were reminded of this TED talk given by Bill Gates several years ago. It is as relevant today and he puts the malaria issue well and in context.

It is well worth watching the first, inspiring 8 minutes or so. He released live, biting mosquitoes into the auditorium during his talk for added effect.

Rice sacks and bed nets

Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Gascoigne has a great idea for illustrating the importance of using bed nets in Senegal.

Dramatic new numbers for infant mortality

new study suggests 58% of the decline in infant mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa is due to insecticide-treated mosquito nets. It also suggests that the decline has accelerated over the last few years.


Do you have a volunteer hour (at a computer) to spare over the next 7 days?

Could you help with some important data entry that requires an hour of your time and some attention to detail?

If so please do get in touch as we have a collection of Post-Distribution Survey questionnaires we are adding to the website as part of our reporting to donors. If 10 volunteers respond we can succeed in making the data available to the public in days.

We are always keen for volunteers to help us with activities such as photo selecting/captioning, video editing, data entry and more.


Bednets responsible for 99% of the 1 million malaria deaths prevented over last decade

A study published in Malaria Journal suggests "that funding for malaria prevention in Africa over the past decade has had a substantial impact on decreasing child deaths due to malaria." The study tries to quantify the impact on malaria mortality over the past decade (2001-2010) resulting from the scale-up of malaria prevention intervention. It says that "ITNs accounted for 99% of the lives saved." and recommends that "rapidly achieving and then maintaining universal coverage of these interventions should be an urgent priority for malaria control programmes in the future."

 You can view both the abstract and the paper online.

Are we winning the fight against malaria?

Someone recently asked us, "Are we winning the fight against malaria?"

Yes, but we are at a critical time now and funds must accelerate so we do not lose the gains made over the last few years.

A picture I can paint for you is to imagine the fight against malaria as walking along a conveyor belt. The good news is the conveyor belt has an end in sight. Compare that to some humanitarian issues, like HIV/Aids and TB, where the end of those conveyor belts cannot be seen or at least they are in the very far distance.

So, there is an end in sight for the fight against malaria, albeit 10+ years away. Now, the conveyor belt is moving against us.

In the last five or so years we have started to make good 'net' (ie positive) progress along the conveyor belt - even though it is moving against us

One measure of this progress is the growth in the number of nets distributed over the last few years. In 2005, globally, 5 million nets were distributed. In 2010, that number was 130 million nets. Good progress. Malaria deaths and the number falling ill both fell. But remember the number of nets needed per year is of the order of 250 million so we are only half way there at best. The issue we now face is malaria funding, while still not enough, is coming under pressure and we already seeing, for example, significant drops in funding to the Global Fund who are one of the organisations through whom governments around the world channel significant funds against malaria.

This is where the analogy with the conveyor belt is a useful one. If the funding is reduced we can start going backwards on the conveyor belt and it is possible we go back to where we were four years or so ago. Think of this on a micro level, ie at the community level, and think about a village that has received. What happens when the nets are at the end of their useful life and new ones are needed? If we don’t have the funds, we cannot replace them and malaria can build again and to the levels we saw pre nets.

That is why funding for nets is so important so we do not lose the gains we have made over the last five or so years: we do not want to go backwards on the conveyor belt. Instead, we want to keep moving forwards so in the next 10 years or so malaria is brought under control - across Africa and elsewhere. 

Malaria deaths hugely underestimated

A recent article in the Lancet, which uses a new way of estimating the number of deaths due to malaria, concludes that 1.24 million people died from the disease in 2010 - much higher than previously recognised.

You can read more about the article on the BBC News site and Against Malaria Founder Rob Mather was interviewed by BBC 5 Live this morning. You can hear the interview via the mp3 link: Malaria interview 5 live.mp3 (7.63 mb). There is also a breakdown of the data on the Guardian website.


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