Nothing But Nets campaign raises money to fight malaria
Oct. 27, 2006
|A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose
Working by the light of two bare light bulbs, Cristiana Alberto Martins, 13, arranges a mosquito net over her bed.
A UMNS Report
By Deborah White*
More than 100,000 insecticide-treated bed nets will be delivered to
Nigeria in November as part of a new malaria prevention campaign called
Nothing But Nets.
Partners in Nothing But Nets include the United Methodist Church, the United Nations Foundation, Sports Illustrated,
the National Basketball Association, Millennium Promise and the Measles
Initiative. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and United
Methodist Communications are coordinating the church's participation in
the campaign, which will include a major initiative for youth groups.
The goal is to raise funds to eradicate malaria in Africa, where the
mosquito-borne disease causes the death of one-fifth of all children
under 5 years old. Hanging nets over children while they sleep is a
simple, inexpensive way to kill the mosquitoes or keep them from biting.
The idea for Nothing But Nets came from Sports Illustrated
columnist Rick Reilly, who encouraged readers to donate money to the
U.N. Foundation after he learned that 1 million children die from
malaria each year and that bed nets could save lives. In a May 5 column,
he wrote, "If you've ever cut down a net, jumped over a net, watched
the New Jersey Nets, worn a hair net, surfed the net, or loved fishnets,
send 10 bucks and maybe you could save a life."
In just a few months, more than 17,000 people sent $1.2 million.
Reilly plans to join a delegation from Nothing But Nets to distribute
nets in Nigeria and to meet children who will benefit from them.
The U.N. Foundation asked the United Methodist Church to join Nothing
But Nets because of its community health work, including the new
Community-Based Malaria Prevention Program of the Board of Global
Ministries. The most recent project, started in Sierra Leone last
December, focuses on community-based primary health care, education and
"All of this work makes the denomination a natural partner for the
Nothing But Nets campaign," said Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, president
of the Commission on Communication, which governs United Methodist
Communications. "Not only do we want to eradicate malaria, but we also
want to get our young people involved in mission work."