Nets, a campaign to fight malaria in Africa by delivering
insecticide-treated nets (bed nets), announced today that it has received
its first-ever malaria challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation. The grant was announced at an event hosted by the National
Basketball Association, one of the campaign’s founding partners.
“Nothing But Nets provides an opportunity for communities everywhere to
get involved in malaria prevention,” said Regina Rabinovich, Director of
Infectious Diseases at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We hope that
this challenge grant will encourage others to take the simple step of
sending a net and saving a life. Working together, we have the power to
prevent this terrible disease from spreading.”
The challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will
match, dollar for dollar, up to $3 million in individual contributions to
Nothing But Nets. It will be utilized by the campaign to procure and
distribute bed nets through the United Nations-led Measles Initiative.
“We’re grateful to the Gates Foundation for their support of this
campaign. Nothing But Nets demonstrates how easy it is for one person to
make a difference,” said Kathy Bushkin, Executive Vice President and Chief
Operating Officer, United Nations Foundation. “Under the leadership of the
United Nations, the Measles Initiative has emerged quickly as a major
supplier of bed nets to some of the neediest countries in Africa. We are
delighted that so many individuals are now involved in this powerful
New Commitments from the NBA and VH1
Representatives from the NBA and VH1 also announced their 2007
commitments to the campaign. The event also featured Lynda Commale and her
six-year-old daughter, Katherine, who were honored for raising more than
$10,000 for Nothing But Nets from their family, friends, and community at
the Hopewell United Methodist Church outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“The NBA is proud to be a part of this campaign — our teams and
players understand the responsibility we have to help improve the quality
of life in our local communities and those around the world. Nothing But
Nets is an easy but impactful way for all of us to save lives,” said Kathy
Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President for Community and Player Programs.
The NBA hosted the Nothing But Nets partnership announcements at their
store on Fifth Avenue and in advance of the January 5 New Jersey Nets vs.
Chicago Bulls game, the first of more than 20 in-arena awareness nights
that will take place in 2007 at NBA and WNBA games. Behrens also announced
that African Luol Deng (Sudan) of the Chicago Bulls and DeSagana Diop
(Senegal) of the Dallas Mavericks, as well as Kyle Korver of the
Philadelphia 76ers, Ruth Riley of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock, and NBA Legend
Sam Perkins, have agreed to act as spokespeople for the campaign.
“When people learn more about malaria and hear about Nothing But Nets,
they are inspired to act,” said Tom Calderone, Executive Vice President,
General Manager of VH1. “Together with all the partners, we’re going to
help broaden the reach of this campaign and highlight the work that is
being done on the ground to help save the lives of children and families in
In 2007, VH1 will generate awareness by creating and airing a public
service announcement about the Nothing But Nets initiative that will air on
VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, and VH1. The network will also produce and
air a VH1 News segment on malaria and Nothing But Nets.
Progress to Date
Nothing But Nets was created by the UN Foundation in May 2006. Inspired
by a column Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly, the campaign’s
founding partners are the National Basketball Association, The People of
the United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. Other partners include
AOL Black Voices, the Rotarians’ Action Group on Malaria, and VH1.
Bed net distributions are organized and implemented by the Measles
Initiative, a partnership of the American Red Cross, the United Nations
Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World
Health Organization, and UNICEF.
Since May 2006, the Nothing But Nets campaign has raised more than $2
million, with average donations of $62. In November 2006, representatives
of the campaign traveled to Nigeria to visit with families who had received
the first shipment of more than 150,000 long-lasting, insecticide-treated
nets. The nets sent to Nigeria were the first of many that will be shipped
to Africa through Nothing But Nets.
While malaria has largely been eradicated in the United States, between
350 and 500 million people are still infected each year, mostly in Africa.
More than one million of those infected die from the disease. Seventy-five
percent of those deaths are children under the age of five. Every day, 25
million pregnant women risk severe illness and harm to their unborn
children from a malaria infection.
One of the most cost-effective and simple approaches to combat malaria
is through the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, which can prevent
malaria transmission by 50 percent. It costs $10 to buy and distribute a
bed net and to educate the recipient on its use. According to the World
Health Organization’s World Malaria Report 2005, only three percent of
children under five in Africa sleep under a long-lasting,
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global 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 UN Foundation. Founding campaign partners
include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The People of the
United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. Other partners include AOL
Black Voices, the Rotarians’ Action Group on Malaria, and VH1. It only
costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this
deadly disease. Visit NothingButNets to send a net and save
Nothing But Nets