What is Malaria?
Every two minutes, a child dies from malaria - a disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Each year, malaria infects around 200 million people, and more than 400,000 of those infected die from the disease, mostly in Africa. Children are at the greatest risk, accounting for 90% of the deaths each year. Moreover, every day, millions of pregnant women risk severe illness and harm from a malaria infection. Malaria incapacitates people and keeps them from working while they recover or take care of sick children. The disease keeps countries poor, costing the African continent approximately $12 billion a year in lost productivity and often straining limited health resources in endemic countries.
The good news is that malaria is both preventable and treatable, and real progress has been made in recent years to eradicate the disease. Nearly 7 million lives have been saved since 2000 thanks to a global concerted effort led by the U.S., the UN and other partners. Bed nets are one of the most effective ways to reduce malaria transmission. Bed nets work in two ways, 1) they stop mosquitoes from biting at night and spreading the disease, and 2) the insecticide on the net kills the mosquito when they land, preventing them from flying on to find their next victim.
What is Nothing But Nets?
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria. Nothing But Nets provides everyone - students and CEOs, bishops and basketball players, people of various faiths - the opportunity to join the fight against malaria by giving $10 to send a net and help save a life. Since its creation in 2006, Nothing But Nets has provided 10 million bed nets to protect children and families in Africa from malaria. The campaign also provides the opportunity to capture your unique and powerful voice to advocate to your elected representatives to support U.S. Government-funded malaria prevention programs like the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), and UN agencies. Nothing But Nets works with a diverse array of partners, including the Union for Reform Judaism and the Religious Action Center, NBA, MLS, Junior Chamber International and the United Methodist Church.
History of the URJ's relationship with Nothing But Nets
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Religious Action Center (RAC) have been partners of Nothing But Nets since 2006. In fact, since the beginning of the partnership, URJ congregations have raised over $750,000, equating to 75,000 bed nets which have been sent over to Africa to save lives. Congregations, Hebrew schools, and youth groups have helped Nothing But Nets' efforts by teaching about malaria in religious schools, hosting basketball tournaments to raise money, or meeting with a member of Congress or signing a petition to ensure US support in eradicating the disease.
Contributing to its advocacy efforts will be the most effective way in ensuring that proven and cost-effective measures that save lives will continue to be funded by the US. By aiding in this important advocacy, the URJ and the RAC will assist Nothing But Nets in providing bed nets to vulnerable children, families, and refugees in Africa, helping to end malaria deaths in this generation. To learn more about Nothing But Nets, check out: http://www.nothingbutnets.net/.