Sunday, December 6, 2015

Nothing but Nets

A couple of years ago, I took a really great free course from MIT through EdX called The Challenges of Global Poverty.  Being MIT, there was a lot of focus on statistics and measurable data, but the real interest for the layperson was in learning what actually works. One of the things that works is bed nets for malaria. Although it seems a no brainer in retrospect, it turns out that it isn't so much that you have to provide a bed net to everyone, but that if enough of a population is using bed nets, it reduces the chances of contracting malaria for everyone.

Therefore, the simple goal of providing bed nets to people that the organization Nothing But Nets achieves actually has enormous consequences. For a mere ten dollars you can buy a net for a family. As their information page says, not long ago, a child died of malaria every 30 seconds. Now the statistic is that a child dies every sixty seconds. Obviously, that's a huge improvement, but equally obviously, it's nowhere near good enough. If you'd like to buy a net, go HERE. During the holiday season, your donation will go twice as far.

                                                                                  World Bank Photo collection


  1. Wonderful thing, Seana. Thanks for posting. Some years ago a former student of mine, Andy Sherman, started a similar project and organization, now known as Netlife, buying nets for people and distributing them in person. I see they got End Malaria awards in 2009 ( and have a Facebook page:

    It's so amazing what a simple net can do!

    1. Right, Kathleen, I think there are so many things that we feel helpless about in the current era, but there are actually a lot of things that are not at all hard to do that make a difference.

  2. If we could provide soap, malaria nets, and basic toilets to the whole world we would not have to worry so much about terrorists.

  3. Yes, and actually there is nothing stopping us from doing exactly this, Nancy.