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eliminating malaria
For 130 million years, malaria has plagued humans as one of the most dangerous diseases on earth. Malaria is transmitted to humans and mammals through mosquitos that carry the parasite. Many African, Middle Eastern and South American countries are afflicted with malaria; however, due to health and technological advances, there are many organizations now fighting against malaria.

Roll Back Malaria – Partnership to End Malaria

Roll Back Malaria (RBM) has worked for many years to combat the spread of malaria. In 2008, RBM put in action the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) at the 2008 MDG Malaria Summit in New York, which was a movement endorsed by many world leaders. GMAP mapped out a strong advocacy plan in the fight towards eliminating malaria.

Eight years later, in 2016, RBM organized the Action and Investment to Defeat Malaria (AIM) 2016-2030 plan. AIM accompanies the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 plan, and both programs demonstrate how lowering and eliminating instances of malaria creates healthier and more successful societies.

The benefits of eradicating malaria was demonstrated in a statement made by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: “Reaching our 2030 global malaria goals will not only save millions of lives, it will reduce poverty and create healthier, more equitable societies. Ensuring the continued reduction and elimination of malaria will generate benefits for entire economies, businesses, agriculture, education, health systems and households.”

USAID

Since 2000, USAID, who has partnered with the likes of RBM, the World Health Organization Global Malaria Programme and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has carried out The President’s Malaria Initiative. By 2015, USAID had helped reduce malaria deaths by over 60 percent, saved nearly 7 million lives and guarded against more than 1 billion malaria cases. USAID takes many precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of malaria including:

  • Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) — insecticide is sprayed on walls inside homes and other buildings and kills adult mosquitoes before malaria can be transmitted.
  • Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) — nets placed over sleeping spaces to repel mosquitoes. The nets automatically kill the bugs that land on the nets, preventing them from biting a human host.
  • Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Pregnant Women (IPTp) — a method that administers the use of antimalarial drugs to pregnant women at their prenatal appointments. This administration protects against maternal anemia and reduces the likelihood of low birth weights and perinatal deaths.
  • Diagnostic Treatment with Lifesaving Drugs — a process that provides diagnostic treatment and testing to guarantee all infected patients receive treatments and therapy.

With USAIDs continuous efforts, the world is well on its way to eliminating malaria.

Together Against Malaria

Together Against Malaria (TAMTAM), a non-profit organization, fights to protect pregnant women and young children from the burden of malaria. TAMTAM works with researchers and policymakers at their offices to increase the usage of insecticide nets.

TAMTAM also distributes free bed nets to underprivileged districts via scientifically and cost-effective methods. The nets are given to health clinics to provide easy-access to everyone living in vulnerable situations, and helps protect pregnant women and children otherwise defenseless against malaria.

Against Malaria Foundation

The Against Malaria Foundation, another organization that helps to distribute insecticide nets, raises money through different organizations and events held each year to raise funds for net distribution. Their specific nets, called LLINs, are long-lasting, so as to ensure that people in these communities stay safe for longer periods of time without having to change out their nets.

The foundation’s charitable efforts include events such as the Speedo Swim Around the World, an event open to anyone, anywhere to help raise funds for the nets. There’s also the Speedo Elite Athletes 2010, which engaged the likes of celebrity swimmers such as Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin in addition to the group, Japan Swimming.

PATH

PATH is an organization working to eliminate malaria through scientific methods and advancements. The company’s preventive methods include vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices and system and service innovations. PATH is speeding up access to effective, affordable and more sensitive malaria diagnostic tools, while also ensuring a stable supply of antimalarial drugs.

PATH’s Center for Malaria Control and Elimination aids in vaccine distribution and diagnostics, and its main goal is to eradicate malaria altogether.

With technological and scientific advancements, eliminating malaria once and for all is a definite possibility for the future. By protecting health, these organizations are doing a world of good by fighting malaria and using the best measures possible to ensure that this debilitating disease does not spread any more.

– Rebecca Lee
Photo: Flickr

10 Poverty Charities
Give Well is a nonprofit charity evaluator with the aim of providing donors a list of the best charities to donate to. It evaluates based on how much good is done per dollar. With its criteria in mind, here are 10 poverty charities that are worth donating to.

  1. Against Malaria Foundation
    The first of the 10 poverty charities is the Against Malaria Foundation. According to its website, 100 percent of donations go toward long-lasting insecticidal nets, which are used to fight malaria. So far, it has raised money for 69,720,219 nets. This charity has a Malaria Advisory Group made up of malaria experts who work to ensure that the money is spent on the most cost-effective solutions to combat malaria. Additionally, the team confirms that the nets are being properly distributed.
  2. Malaria Consortium
    Malaria Consortium focuses on preventing, controlling and treating malaria, among other diseases, in 12 low-income countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. Its methods for fighting these diseases are backed by extensive research and then shared with the countries in an effort to improve health practice and policy development.
  3. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative
    Schistosomiasis Control Initiative concentrates on eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which affect over 200 million people across the world. According to its website, its goal is “to reduce the global disease burden of NTDs in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
  4. END Fund
    The END Fund also strives to fight NTDs, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma and river blindness, which collectively create 2.95 billion people in need of treatment. The organization focuses on providing effective solutions at a small cost. According to its website, it has “raised more than $118 million, treated more than 140 million people with 330 million treatments at a value of more than $620 million.”
  5. Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative
    According to WHO, 836 million children across the world are at risk of parasitic worm infections. This is what Deworm the World Initiative is combating. The principles listed on Evidence Action’s website include using effective solutions that are backed by research and building operational models. As stated on its website, its goal is to “design a process to bridge the gap between proven interventions that work and scaling them up to produce measurable impact for millions of people.”
  6. Evidence Action’s No Lean Season
    Evidence Action also runs No Lean Season, a charity to reduce the effects of seasonality in agricultural areas. The charity provides $20 to families so they can send a family member to a nearby city to find a job in the time between planting and harvesting crops. With this money, the family is able to afford 500 more meals during this period.
  7. Sightsavers
    Sightsavers’ mission is to stop avoidable blindness and protect the rights of those who are disabled. Its strategy is to influence policies regarding global health, education and NTDs.
  8. Helen Keller International
    The Helen Keller International organization aims to improve sight and fight malnutrition. According to its website, “we build the capacity of local government, non-profit and private sector systems and infrastructure, and promote the development of sustained, large scale programs that deliver effective solutions to preventable blindness and malnutrition.”
  9. Give Directly
    Give Directly is an organization that allows donors to donate money to families in extremely poor communities. The process contains four steps: locating the poorest communities around the world, auditing to ensure that recipients did not cheat, transferring around $1000 for the year and monitoring to ensure the households received the payment.
  10. The Borgen Project
    The Borgen Project fights to eradicate global poverty. Its strategy is to mobilize citizens to call their representatives. Through this, it has change U.S. foreign aid policies. Some bills that it has helped to pass include the Electrify Africa Act, the Global Food Security Act and the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act.

These 10 poverty charities operate with transparency to donors and cost-effective solutions to issues that plague developing nations. These attributes make these the top 10 poverty charities one should consider getting involved with.

– Olivia Booth

Photo: Flickr

Charities_for_Measurable_Returns
When people choose to donate to one charity over another, they frequently do it guided by a strong conviction or emotion rather than pure rationale. Charity evaluators, however, are rapidly changing the way people think about giving back to society.

They argue that rather than giving to the cause that is closest to one’s heart, one should give to those charities that are the most effective, in measurable terms. One of the most trusted of these charity evaluators is GiveWell, a San Francisco-based group founded in 2007 by two hedge-fund staffers.

It recommends charities to donors according to four main criteria. First, the organization must provide strong evidence of positive impact on people’s lives. Second, it must be involved in highly cost-effective activities that provide a high, measurable return for every dollar invested. Third, the program must demonstrate that there is room for more funding and that it can productively put to good use additional donors’ dollars. Fourth, the charity must be transparent and accountable to donors.

Although GiveWell has been criticized for its results-based approach – leading it to favor health care interventions in the developing world, while ignoring others that cannot provide evidence of success due to the nature of their activities –  its evaluations do carry weight in the world of philanthropy.

Its top three recommended charities are:

1. Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)

GiveWell believes that AMF effectively expands access to bed nets in sub-Saharan Africa, where over 1 million people – mostly children – die each year of malaria. Through providing insecticide-treated bed nets that cost only $5 each, AMF prevents deaths and many other non-fatal cases of malaria.

2. GiveDirectly

According to GiveWell, GiveDirectly effectively distributes cash to extremely low-income individuals in Kenya. By directly transferring money to the very poor, recipients are allowed to spend more on their basic needs – such as food – and other investments that have high returns.

3. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)

GiveWell states that SCI effectively expands access to deworming treatments in sub-Saharan Africa. In this region, a large percentage of the population, especially children, are infected with parasite worms that cause short-term symptoms such as anemia, and long-term developmental problems. This condition is relatively easy to treat: around $5 can protect a child for 10 years.

All three charities work in Africa, which is not surprising given that money can go much further in the poorest regions of the world. Twenty-five dollars, for example, allows someone in the developing world to get an eye surgery, while in the United States, this is an insignificant amount. Although most people prefer giving back to causes that are close to home, sometimes those in greatest need are far off.

– Nayomi Chibana

Sources: GiveWell, The Guardian, The New York Times
Photo: Harpers