Malaria causes up to 200 million illnesses and half a million deaths every year.
In Africa, malaria kills a child every thirty seconds (UNICEF). But survivors also face a long road to recovery: many suffer devastating learning impairment and permanent brain damage. Pregnant women and their unborn children are especially vulnerable to malaria, which can cause mortality, low birth weight, and maternal anemia — a big part of why we prioritize the populations we do. Malaria is also a major obstacle to economic prosperity. Official estimates put malaria’s economic yearly cost at $12 billion, meaning that on average, afflicted countries lose out on 1.3 percent of GDP growth every year.
Public health experts and officials have long agreed that prevention through near-universal use of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets is the best way to prevent and control malaria. Bed nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of transmissions occur, and can last for up to four years. Studies show that the use of bed nets can reduce transmission by 50 percent or more. TAMTAM’s bed nets cost just over $3 to buy and deliver to individuals in need.
Map from the Malaria Atlas Project.