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Imagine No Malaria

Imagine No Malaria is the United Methodist church-wide effort to overcome malaria in Africa and eliminate deaths caused by this preventable disease—a goal world leaders hope to accomplish by 2015.

Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation. Founding campaign partners include The People of the United Methodist Church, the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, and Sports Illustrated. Other partners include VH1, the Mark J.Gordon Foundation,AOL Black Voices, Rotarians’Action Group on Malaria, the Wasserman Foundation, and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S.

Malaria is preventable, but infects nearly 500 million people each year and kills more than one million of those who become infected. Ninety percent of deaths caused by malaria occur in Africa where the disease is a leading killer of children. Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria. Children who are able to survive the disease are faced with physical and mental impairments, such as poor growth and development. Moreover, every day 25 million pregnant African women risk severe illness and harm to their unborn children from a malaria infection.Malaria contributes to low birth weight among newborn infants, one of the leading risk factors for infant mortality.

Our efforts may have started with sending nets, but they do not stop there. In addition to preventing malaria with bed nets, eliminating deaths caused by this disease will require educating communities and health care workers, developing health care infrastructure and making advancements in health care communications. Imagine No Malaria will create a stronger and more broad-based community health infrastructure to help The United Methodist Church in the fight against diseases of poverty. Nothing But Nets remains a key component of the campaign against malaria.

In January 2007, the Gates Foundation provided a challenge grant to the Nothing But Nets malaria prevention campaign to match contributions up to $3 million—a goal that was reached in August due in part to a groundswell of support from United Methodist churches across the U.S.  According to the organization’s website, the foundation has committed more than $6 billion in global health grants.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Patty Stonesifer and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

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