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Can Social Media Help End Malaria? Let’s Find Out…

#endmalaria by @gapingvoid, in honor of World Malaria Day 2010

Sunday, April 25th was World Malaria Day and the United Nations is placing its hopes on you and the social graphs you’ve nurtured to finally end this deadly, yet preventable disease.

You see, every 30 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria and every 10 seconds, another case is diagnosed. That might not mean a lot to you…I’m sure where you are right now is probably the furthest away from Malaria and Africa. But even where you are, right now, you’re in a place to actually save a life…literally.

Please join the efforts to #endmalaria. All it takes is a $10 donation. Please click here to donate now.  Or, text the word “NETS” to 864233, and a $10 donation will be charged directly to your cell phone bill.

100% of the proceeds will be given to UNICEF, used to buy treated mosquito nets, the lowest cost and most effective way to prevent malaria.

Once you’ve donated, please help spread the word using the #endmalaria banner.

To kick start the effort today, I reached out to good friend and one of my favorite artists, Hugh MacLeod (@gapingvoid). He designed an original piece (above) in the hopes of spreading awareness and support using art as a social object.

World Malaria Day

Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicenter of the world’s malaria control activities, with over 90% of malaria deaths occurring on the continent. Over 190 million long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets have been delivered since 2007, covering nearly 400 million people or over 50% of the endemic population, compared to less than 10% in 2005.

On the anniversary of World Malaria Day, we are setting a goal to close the gap of bed nets needed to eradicate malaria. In order to reach this goal, we need $10, which buys a treated net to protect children while they sleep.

The World Bank announced this week that it has joined the fight against malaria. To do so, it will donate a whopping $200 million to buy 25 million nets. That massive gesture takes us half way to our goal.

Social Media Envoy

The job is far from done, more work is needed…

Last year, you might remember the famed race to 1 million followers on Twitter between Ashton Kutcher and CNN. While the number of followers was the focal point, the true agenda was to raise awareness for Malaria as well as sending bed nets to Africa.

This year, in conjunction with Ashton’s company Katalyst, United Nations Secretary- General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, announced a special Social Media Envoy group to continue the work. The Social Media Envoy group is chartered with inspiring social media audiences throughout the year in support of malaria control to achieve the Secretary-General’s goal of providing all endemic African countries with malaria control interventions by the end of 2010.

The 2010 Social Media Envoys include:

Queen Rania of Jordan
Derrick Ashong, Musician, Social Activist & Oprah Radio host
Veronica Belmont, Host of “Tekzilla” and “Qore” and Internet Personality
Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey
Sarah Brown, of the United Kingdom
Jason Calacanis, Founder and CEO of
Pete Cashmore, Founder and CEO of “Mashable—the Social Media Guide”
Anderson Cooper, CNN Anchor of “Anderson Cooper 360”
Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder of Foursquare
Anil Dash, Director of Expert Labs and Partner at Activate
Jack Dorsey, Creator, Co-Founder and Chairman of Twitter, CEO of Square
Justine Ezarik “iJustine” Internet Personality
Mahei Foliaki, “@Iconic88” Internet Personality and Co-Founder of “The Internet Chef”
Steve Frayne, “Dynamo Magician
Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft
The Gates Foundation
Jack Gray, CNN Producer/Writer for “Anderson Cooper 360”
MC Hammer, Entertainer and Founder of
Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post
Kim Kardashian
Guy Kawasaki, Co-Founder of
Larry King, CNN Host of “Larry King Live”
Shira Lazar, Internet Personality
Loic Le Meur, Founder and CEO of Seesmic
Amy Martin, Founder of Digital Royalty
Stefanie Michaels, “Adventure Girl”, Internet and Travel Personality
Alyssa Milano, Actress
Dave Morin, Former Facebook executive- responsible for Facebook Connect and Platform
Jason Mraz, Singer-Songwriter and Social Activist
Drew Olanoff, Social Activist
Shaquille O’Neal, NBA Professional Athlete
Jason Pollock, Film Director and Social Activist
General Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
Jeff Pulver, Founder of 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) and Co-Founder of VoIP (Vonage)
Kevin Rose, Founder of Digg
Chris Sacca, Founder of Lowercase Capital
Ryan Seacrest, Founder, Ryan Seacrest Productions
Brian Solis, Tech Entrepreneur, Author
Jordin Sparks, Singer, Ambassador: “I’m M.A.D. Are you?” Campaign
Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter
Catherine Valdes, “Catrific” Internet Personality
Khayyam Wakil, Venture Catalyst & Internet Personality
Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco
Pete Wentz, Musician
Jon Wheatley, Co-Founder of
Lotay Yang, Founder and President of Black Card Circle
Tony Hsieh, CEO of, Inc.
Randi Zuckerberg, Director of Marketing, Facebook

Twitter has also joined the effort. Each time you Tweet about malaria and include the #endmalaria hashtag, your tweet will carry a special mosquito icon to increase visibility.

For more information on the Office of the Special Envoy, visit

81 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Can Social Media Help End Malaria? Let’s Find Out…”

  1. jessica001 says:


    Jessica here from Canada. As i have seen your comments above & I think malaria is end of world because it is world's worst disease.


  2. kirstenlogue says:

    I believe this is an excellent example of how social media can bring people together in order to overcome the global issues and problems. I hope to see more of this type of campaign in the future and hope it is successful.

  3. rock_james says:

    Well, I don't know if Social Media can help end malaria, however, it is amazing how it can unite people based on a cause like this one. Even important companies tend to become involved because it helps their business, and at the same time, the bigger they are, the more awareness on the matter they create:

    So, yes, I think communication is basis to solving all problems. We should start communicating more and using the most powerful entities to deliver the message with more strength.

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  5. DrugLord says:

    I agree with kirstenlogue, this is a great example how people should be all the time.There are many centers for help and there are many kinds of Malaria Pills that people can use if they are unfortuned to contact it.

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  7. This advocacy will be surely successful. Using social media to get funds is a very good strategy to help people.

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