WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, the world’s largest grassroots campaign to end malaria, announced today that it is changing its name to United to Beat Malaria in order to better reflect the multifaceted and inclusive approach to fighting this deadly mosquito-borne disease. Nothing But Nets is now United to Beat Malaria.
For more than 15 years, the campaign has worked in partnership with endemic country leaders, health workers and UN agencies to protect more than 39 million of the world’s most vulnerable people by providing bed nets and other life-saving tools, in addition to successfully advocating for increased U.S. leadership and funding for global malaria programs.
While bed nets will remain a critical cornerstone of malaria prevention, the campaign has evolved over the years to provide a full suite of innovative tools and strategies – including anti-malarial treatments, diagnostic tests, indoor residual spraying, health worker training, and more – to meet the greatest needs of malaria-affected communities. The campaign has also expanded its efforts to mobilize malaria champions across the U.S. and around the world who rally their communities and elected officials to fight this historic injustice.
“Our campaign has contributed to a remarkable period of progress in the fight against malaria,” said Margaret McDonnell, Executive Director of United to Beat Malaria. “But today, a child still dies nearly every minute from this preventable disease. It’s unacceptable that half the world’s population still has to worry every day and night about dying from a mosquito bite. With decades of progress at-risk due to COVID-19 and other global challenges, the time is now to expand access to malaria interventions, build partnerships across borders and sectors, and continue to galvanize the next generation of malaria champions. United to Beat Malaria reflects both the urgency of the moment and optimism that, together, we can end this historic injustice in our lifetimes.”
Thanks to a wave of innovation in the malaria space and a massive scale-up of these new tools and strategies, the malaria mortality rate has dropped by over 50% since 2000. Twenty-one countries have eliminated the disease in that timeframe. A malaria-free world is within reach.
However, in recent years progress has stalled where the malaria burden is greatest, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa which carries 96% of the global malaria burden. Global challenges – such as COVID-19 disruptions, insecticide and drug resistance, climate change and record levels of displacement – threaten to reverse years of hard-won gains against this disease. In 2020, malaria claimed 627,000 lives, 76% of whom were children under 5, according to the World Health Organization.
United to Beat Malaria will continue to support health workers and partners on the frontlines to prioritize protecting those most at-risk of malaria – particularly young children, pregnant women, people displaced by conflict and natural disasters, and remote communities with limited healthcare access.
Nothing But Nets: 15 Years of Impact
In 2006, Rick Reilly wrote a Sports Illustrated column that called upon his readers to send nets to help protect families from malaria. The overwhelming response to this call-to-action inspired the United Nations Foundation to launch the Nothing But Nets campaign. Fifteen years later, it has grown into the world’s largest grassroots campaign fighting to end malaria, with a diverse network of over 350,000 donors, advocates, and partners. Working in partnership with endemic country leaders, health workers and NGO’s, Nothing But Nets has supported the delivery of over 13 million bed nets – along with testing, treatments, and other vital tools – across 57 countries.
In addition, the campaign has activated thousands of advocates from around the world – from bishops to basketball players, and students to CEO’s – who have rallied their communities and elected officials around this cause. The persistent advocacy of its US-based champions has helped build bipartisan Congressional support and increased US funding for vital global malaria programs, including The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, the US President’s Malaria Initiative, and the UN.
To learn more, visit beatmalaria.org.
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The UN Foundation’s United to Beat Malaria campaign brings together key and diverse partners and supporters to take urgent action to end malaria and create a healthier, more equitable world. Since 2006, United to Beat Malaria has worked to equip and mobilize citizens across the U.S. and around the world to raise awareness, funds and voices. The campaign works with partners in endemic countries to channel life-saving resources to protect the most marginalized and vulnerable populations. By championing increased leadership, political will and resources from the U.S. and beyond, as well as more holistic, innovative tools and strategies, we can be the generation that ends malaria once and for all. Learn more at www.beatmalaria.org Watch: https://youtu.be/bT6UJhzfA4Q