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Against Malaria Foundation

Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) works to prevent the spread of malaria by distributing long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets to susceptible populations in developing countries. AMF has been active in 36 countries in Africa, Asia and South America, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

AMF reviews requests for nets from local organizations to determine where they will do the most good. It then purchases nets in bulk and coordinates distribution through local partner organizations, while ensuring that communities are educated in malaria prevention, proper net use, and treatment. Since its founding in 2004, AMF has raised over $139 million--enough to purchase and distribute 53 million nets to protect 99 million people. To date, AMF has distributed or is in the process of distributing over 28 million nets and is assessing distributions of 25 million more.

The Problem

Malaria is one of the most severe public health problems worldwide, a widespread and deadly disease concentrated in equatorial regions--primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, where ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur. Each year, over 200 million people become infected with malaria. Of those cases, the disease will prove fatal for 438,000 people. Seventy percent of these deaths are of children under five years old, making malaria one of the leading causes of child mortality in Africa. Even when non-fatal, malaria can damage children’s cognitive development. In many developing countries, malaria is the leading cause of death for pregnant women. Malaria is a drain on households and countries; it is estimated to cost Africa $12 billion every year in costs of health care, absenteeism, days lost in education, decreased productivity due to brain damage from cerebral malaria, and loss of investment and tourism.

The Solution

Long-lasting insecticidal bed nets. The disease is spread by mosquitoes at night, while people are sleeping.The best way to prevent this is to use long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs): Hung over beds, these nets are extremely effective at killing the insects and preventing infection. Studies show that LLINs, when properly used, are the most effective way of preventing malaria. With a series of effective distributions over the course of a decade, malaria can be brought under control and infection rates kept low long-term.

How AMF is different from other charities

AMF funds bednets and ensures that they are distributed and used by those who are most vulnerable to malaria infection. Without proper monitoring, bednets can be misappropriated or misused. Unlike traditional net distributors, AMF pays particular attention to distributing nets accountably, focusing on household-level data to ensure nets reach beneficiaries equitably and as intended. They also carefully conduct post-distribution monitoring to ensure proper net use. In 2014, AMF introduced smartphone technology in place of paper-based data collection to make monitoring even more cost-effective and accurate.

Why AMF is effective

Cost-effectiveness

An AMF net costs only US$2.00, and each net will protect two people for up to three years. 100% of donations from the public are used for net purchasing.

Effective monitoring and evaluation

AMF gathers significant background and region-specific data ahead of a distribution to establish the need for nets. They then track net presence, use and condition for three years post-distribution by visiting, unannounced, a randomly selected 5 percent of recipient households. AMF publishes all data collected. They also track malaria rates.

Economically beneficial

Lower malaria rates help more children stay in school and more adults continue working, which stimulates developing economies. For every $1 spent fighting malaria, Africa’s GDP improves by at least $6.75--and by some estimates much more.

Proven results

Well-designed action against malaria has been shown to be hugely successful: since 2000, mortality rates have fallen by 47 percent globally and by 54 percent in the WHO African Region.

Exceptionally low overhead

AMF has only three full-time staff members. Thanks to support from sponsors for other costs, 100 percent of donations received from the public goes to fund the purchase of nets. AMF publishes their year-to- date financials ‘in real time’. They are the only charity we know of that does this.

Designed for long-term impact

AMF ensures local communities are educated about proper net use, malaria prevention and treatment. It distributes nets through “universal coverage” campaigns.

High Impact

AMF’s accountability and sustainability

AMF has been named a best charity by The Life You Can Save, GiveWell, Giving What We Can, and Focusing Philanthropy. The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets, when properly used, as the single most effective way to prevent the spread of malaria.

AMF publishes extensive pre-distribution, post-distribution and financial data on its website, including malaria case rates and survey results. Its financial records are easily accessible, and donors can see exactly where the nets they fund are distributed as AMF allocates each individual donation to a specific net distribution and shares that information with the donor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will AMF use my donation?

One hundred percent of public donations are used to buy nets. AMF's minimal administrative costs are already covered by a small group of private donors while distribution costs are covered by partners on the ground. So a $100 donation buys $100 of nets—they end up over heads and bed,s and AMF demonstrates that this has happened, showing donors exactly where the nets their donation funded are distributed.

How do I know AMF recipients will use the nets properly?

Net distributions are accompanied by malaria education programs delivered by local health leaders, including information on effective net use. Follow-up surveys consistently show this education to be effective: for example, six months after a distribution in Ntcheu District, Malawi, over 90 percent of nets were still being used properly, with 99 percent still in very good condition.

Don’t mosquitoes just strike during the day instead?

The overwhelming majority of malaria-carrying mosquitoes bite people at night, typically between 10 PM and 2 AM.

Can’t we just treat infected people instead?

Treatment can be very effective, but it is difficult to provide consistently to rural regions of developing countries. Nearly half a million people still die from malaria each year. Prevention is much better in terms of health outcomes than treatment, and substantially more cost-effective.

Won’t there be a malaria vaccine soon?

There is currently no effective wide-use vaccine and sadly there are no strongly positive candidate vaccines. Some experimental malaria vaccine trials have shown early promise but malaria nets are still the most effective means of preventing malaria transmission.

Why does The Life You Can Save recommend Against Malaria Foundation?

We recommend AMF because they have been named a Top Charity by GiveWell, a highly respected charity evaluator.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

AMF is based in the UK, where donors can claim Gift Aid on their donations. Donations are also tax-deductible in Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, and the USA. See further information about AMF's charity-status in these countries.

More Information

Video of a bednet distribution in Kadokolene, Uganda.
Image credits: All photos courtesy of Against Malaria Foundation

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