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News for 2021, February - Show latest items

AMF funds a further 12.9 million nets for distribution in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2022


AMF has added to its existing agreement with the DRC Ministry of Health and has agreed to fund 12.9 million nets for distribution in five provinces, Équateur, Haut Katanga, Sud Ubangi, Tanganyika and Haut Lomami, for distribution in 2022 and early 2023. These nets aim to achieve 100% coverage across all provinces, protecting 23 million people when they sleep at night from the bites of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

DRC is one of the two most malarious countries in the world with malaria responsible for the deaths of at least 100 children under 5 each day in DRC alone, with high incidence levels seen across the majority of the country.

These nets have the potential to play a major part in reducing deaths and illness. This quantity of nets could be expected to prevent 8,000 deaths, 4 to 8 million cases of malaria and make a material impact on the economy of DRC. It is estimated that the improvement in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), a measure of economic performance, would be about USD 320 million.

We are about to allocate individual donations to these specific distributions and many donations, large and small, will fund these nets.

We will report openly on progress and performance throughout and after the distribution.

Key elements of our agreement include:

  1. AMF is funding 12,939,250 LLINs, with distribution in 2022 and early 2023
  2. This is a co-funding partnership with non-net costs (shipping, pre-distribution, distribution) funded by the Global Fund
  3. To support accurate data gathering, re-checks of net need numbers will take place by re-visiting a material number of households chosen at random.
  4. Household-level data will be collected using electronic-devices and then entered into AMF’s Data Entry System (DES) for analysis and verification. This, and the above elements combined, are the basis for a highly accountable distribution.
  5. Post-distribution monitoring of net use and condition (PDMs) will take place every nine months for two and a half years in all districts. AMF will fund this.

Further information is available via the dedicated province pages below.

List of DRC distribution

2023 Tanganika, Haut Lomami
2022 Mongala, Sud Kivu, Équateur, Haut Katanga, Sud Ubangi
2021 Kwilu, Sankuru, Haut Lomami, Haut Uele, Maniema, Bas Uele, Kasai Province, Kasai Oriental Province
2020 Kinshasa, Kongo Centrale, Ituri, Tshopo
2019 Équateur, Sud Ubangi, Tanganyika, Haut Katanga, Haut Lomami


Recovery of stolen nets in Guinea


Bales of netsIn September 2019 we informed you that AMF-funded nets had been stolen from Guinea. We are now pleased to report that these nets have been found, identified and returned to Guinea and will be distributed to beneficiaries as intended.

Summary

46,000 AMF-funded nets were stolen in Guinea in 2019, part of a total of 88,000 nets that were diverted from Guinea to Mali, where they were repackaged to be sold to the Malian Ministry of Health for use in their mass distribution campaign. All of these nets were recovered in Mali and have now been returned to Guinea where they will be distributed in areas where they are most needed. We will continue to work with the Guinean authorities to understand the mechanism by which the nets were stolen. The Malian Ministry of Health, Justice Department and the police in Mali have been particularly helpful in this matter and arrests have been made. These 46,000 nets were part of the 4.8 million nets that AMF funded for the Guinea campaign and therefore were 0.96% of the total nets funded.

Detail

In our last full update on this topic, we shared that 98,500 nets had been found in counterfeit packaging in a warehouse in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Since then, an AMF representative based in Guinea has made multiple trips to Bamako and has worked closely with the local partners and the Malian authorities, to understand the situation and to ensure AMF nets are returned to Guinea. The events as we understand them are as follows.

In 2018 the Mali National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) had a shortage of nets for their mass distribution. Given the urgent net gap, an international partner with nets in storage in Bamako agreed to loan 200,000 nets to the NMCP. This was on the basis that the NMCP would procure 200,000 nets after the distribution to return to the international partner. The procurement of the nets was done by the Mali Ministry of Health and the contract was awarded to a company called Elite Global Services.

Elite Global Services did not purchase nets from a World Health Organisation certified net manufacturer. Rather, they diverted nets from Guinea in lorries where they were sent to a small ‘workshop’ warehouse in Bamako. In this ‘workshop’ warehouse, net labels were cut off to remove evidence of net type or provenance. Each net was then wrapped into counterfeit packaging of an established net– Vestergaard’s PermaNet 2.0 – before being sent to a storage warehouse in Bamako.

On 13th September 2019 the ‘workshop’ warehouse was raided by Malian police. On 18th September 2019, AMF’s representative discovered 98,500 nets in the storage warehouse. Evidence found at the ‘workshop’ warehouse strongly suggests that all of the nets stolen from Guinea were present in the storage warehouse.

After the discovery, we carried out an identification process to establish how many of the 98,500 nets belonged to each funder. This showed a total of 88,000 nets from all funders in Guinea, of which 46,000 were AMF nets. The remaining 10,500 nets were unidentifiable.

The Malian authorities helped facilitate the identification process and accepted these findings. They agreed to return the nets. During the COVID-19 pandemic, repatriation of these nets slowed. The nets officially passed from Malian to Guinean possession in Bamako on 29th May 2020. Subsequently transport across the border was arranged, and by September 2020, all nets were returned to Guinea. We have been working with partners in Guinea to send the 46,000 AMF-funded nets to areas with lower net coverage and that work is almost complete. We have been using data from our post distribution monitoring at 9 months after distribution to guide these decisions.

Lessons learned

The processes that we agree with Ministries of Health when funding nets aim to minimise the risk of theft. These include independent monitoring, collection of household level information, and tracking net movement and delivery. We will continue to work with the Guinean authorities to understand better how the nets were diverted to Mali and will update our processes if necessary. An AMF representative in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, is liaising with the Ministry of Health and Justice to understand where in the supply chain the theft occurred.

We have taken specific actions aimed at increasing the chances of identifying AMF nets in the event of a future theft. These include the following new elements that are unique to AMF nets: label size, coloured stitching, coloured loops, bale number on net label, bale number on a banner of the label that passes through the stitching of the net. These elements would enable us to quickly identify AMF nets, even if the label had been cut off, as was the case in the Guinea-Mali situation. We have negotiated these items with our net manufacturers and have already implemented them for subsequent orders in Uganda, DRC and Togo.

We are pleased to have tracked down the stolen nets, and have them returned to Guinea to be used for their original purpose: to protect people from malaria when they sleep at night.

19 Jun 20 – Update 5: June 2020
06 Mar 20 – Update 4: March 2020
05 Dec 19 – Update 3: November 2019
31 Oct 19 – Update 2: October 2019
30 Sep 19 – Update 1: September 2019
24 Sep 19 – AMF investigating possible theft of nets in Guinea


US$20 million donation to AMF cuts immediate funding gap from US$52m to US$32m!


We are absolutely delighted to have just received a US$20m donation from a single donor.

This donation has been put to work immediately as it has allowed us to confirm funding for a significant net distribution programme in 2022, just a year away. We will publish information about this shortly.

The donation will buy an estimated 10 million long-lasting insecticidal nets (final number dependent upon the final cost/net) that will protect 18 million people when they sleep at night.

In terms of impact, these nets can be expected to save 6,000 to 7,000 lives, avert 3 to 7 million cases of malaria and improve the local economy in the region in which the nets will be distributed by an estimated US$240 million (12x the donation amount). When people are ill they cannot farm, drive, teach – function, so the improvement in health leads to economic as well as humanitarian benefits.

Importantly, this helps reduce the immediate funding gap for AMF's planned net programmes from US$52m to US$32m and is a fantastic boost to this work.

We continue to work hard to make sure our programmes are as effective as ever, and can see the urgent need for nets across the countries we work in. Every donation, large and small, is so important, as every US$2 funds a net that protects two people and helps us close the gap. A huge donation such as the one received this week is fabulous, and our history also shows that many, more modest sized donations have been, and are, critical to achieving our malaria programmes (AMF's donations statistics).


AMF funds a further 6.8 million nets for distribution in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Q4 2021


AMF has added to its existing agreement with the DRC Ministry of Health and has agreed to fund 6.8 million nets for distribution in Kasai and Kasai Oriental provinces, with a target distribution date of Q4 2021. These nets aim to achieve 100% coverage across both provinces, protecting 12.3 million people when they sleep at night from the bites of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

DRC is one of the two most malarious countries in the world with malaria responsible for the deaths of at least 100 children under 5 each day in DRC alone, with high incidence levels seen across the majority of the country.

These nets have the potential to play a major part in reducing deaths and illness. This quantity of nets could be expected to prevent 4,000 deaths, 2 to 4 million cases of malaria and make a material impact on the economy of DRC. It is estimated that the improvement in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), a measure of economic performance, would be about USD 160 million.

After the required funding is received, AMF allocates individual donations to specific distributions and so far we have allocated 727 individual donations from 706 donors from 36 countries. These figures will increase as further donations are allocated. Many donations, large and small, help fund these nets.

We will report openly on progress and performance throughout and after the distribution.

Key elements of our agreement include:

  1. AMF is funding 6,825,000 LLINs, targeting distribution in Q4 2021
  2. This is a co-funding partnership with non-net costs (shipping, pre-distribution, distribution) funded by the Global Fund
  3. To support accurate data gathering, re-checks of net need numbers will take place by re-visiting a material number of households chosen at random.
  4. Household-level data will be collected using electronic-devices and then entered into AMF’s Data Entry System (DES) for analysis and verification. This, and the above elements combined, are the basis for a highly accountable distribution.
  5. Post-distribution monitoring of net use and condition (PDMs) will take place every nine months for two and a half years in all districts. AMF will fund this.

Further information is available via the dedicated distribution pages for Kasai Province and Kasai Oriental Province.

List of DRC distributions

2022 Kwilu, Sankuru, Haut Lomami, Mongala, Sud Kivu
2021 Haut Uele, Maniema, Bas Uele, Kasai Province, Kasai Oriental Province
2020 Kinshasa, Kongo Centrale, Ituri, Tshopo
2019 Equateur, Sud Ubangi, Tanganyika, Haut Katanga, Haut Lomami




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