Washington, DC (December 17, 2012) — With the release of this year's World Health Organization World Malaria Report, Chris Helfrich, director of the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign to fight malaria in Africa, released the following statement:
"Since 2006, the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign has rallied the world's largest grassroots network of partners and supporters dedicated to protecting families in Africa from malaria. Organizations and individuals have committed to send nets and save lives from malaria, a disease transmitted by a single mosquito bite. The widespread support and use of malaria prevention and treatment tools over the past decade has saved an estimated 1.1 million lives, according to the report released today by our partners at the World Health Organization.
That is truly incredible progress. But worldwide, funding to stop malaria and the procurement and delivery of long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets are slowing down, from 145 million nets in 2010 to 66 million nets this year. We are facing a critical moment in the fight against malaria. Now is the time to sustain the gains against this deadly disease and distribute more life-saving bed nets to the families who need them. Campaigns such as Nothing But Nets and investments in The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the President's Malaria Initiative are more important than ever.
There have been huge gains against malaria since 2000, as funding jumped from $100 million in 2000 to $1.8 billion in 2012. But an estimated $5 billion is needed to keep every family at risk safe from malaria.
Bed nets are still one of the simplest, most cost-effective tools in the fight against malaria. The World Health Organization reports that 90 percent of families with a bed net use it. Today's report estimates about half of families in sub-Saharan African sleep beneath an insecticide-treated bed net, the same as last year. We are committed to making sure that every family in Africa who needs a bed net has one.
We are so grateful to the thousands of caring supporters who have helped raise more than $45 million to help Nothing But Nets and its partners--such as UNICEF and the UN Refugee Agency--distribute over 7 million nets to families in countries across Africa. Together, we must do more.
Everyone, from students to CEOs, can join the fight against malaria.