Imagine No Malaria FAQs

Imagine No Malaria FAQs

For more information, contact Imagine No Malaria Coordinator Nicole Wilken at nwilken@wisconsinumc.org.

In 2006, the United Nations Foundation sent out over 1,500 letters to different organizations around the U.S. hoping to find a partner to bring more attention to the problem of malaria. The United Nations Foundation received one response – from The United Methodist Church. From that original partnership came the Nothing But Nets campaign, which raised $7.5 million in one year to fund the purchase of insecticide-treated bed nets. Building on the success of that campaign, the people of the UMC voted at General Conference 2008 to make Global Health one of the four focus areas of the United Methodist Church, and the Imagine No Malaria initiative was created as the continued response of the people of the UMC to take a stand about the problem of malaria.

The INM initiative is the effort of the UMC to raise $75 million by the end of 2015 to help end preventable deaths and suffering from malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since the beginning of INM in 2008, over $65 million has been raised – over $40 million in just the last two years. The UMC is central in both the fundraising and implementation parts in the fight against malaria. UMCOR supervises the on-the-ground programs in Africa. UMCOM provides national resources, marketing, and visibility initiatives. Nationally, the Board of Church and Society monitors and organizes advocacy opportunities.

In Wisconsin: Our $1 million campaign will continue until next Annual Conference in June 2015.

Worldwide: All INM publicity says “$75 million by 2015.” However, the official end celebration is scheduled for General Conference 2016. They are hoping to use those few months to get their finances and final amounts together before the big announcement at General Conference.

Church Pledges and Donations: Churches are encouraged to set a non-binding goal for their support of the Imagine No Malaria campaign and send in their Goal Form to the Conference office or to nwilken@wisconsinumc.org. Special offerings, events, and other efforts to raise money in support of Imagine No Malaria and to meet your church goal should be scheduled and completed by next Annual Conference in June 2015.

Individual Pledges and Donations: Individuals wishing to support the INM initiative can submit a one-time donation or a pledge using our donation envelope and pledge card, respectively. These donations can be counted to support your church’s mission contributions by putting your checks in the offering plate, or by specifying your church name on your contributions sent directly through the Conference office or the national INM office in Nashville. One-time donations and pledges should be submitted prior to Annual Conference 2015; installments of the pledge amount (for individuals only) can be paid over the next 2 or 3 years, if desired.

The primary goal of Imagine No Malaria is to end preventable deaths and suffering from malaria, but the reality of this kind of community-based approach is that INM is helping to develop a more sustainable and accountable healthcare system in Africa. The United Methodist Church has had a presence in Africa for almost 200 years, so we have an existing on-the-ground network of health care facilities and personnel who are equipped to respond to the various health crises in Africa. Because malaria and Ebola have such similar early symptoms, it is important that we focus on managing both diseases by providing the health clinics with the necessary materials in order to ensure that the health clinics remain the trusted source of information and medicine within the affected communities.

Because of this, Imagine No Malaria is working through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to provide needed supplies to United Methodist health facilities in West Africa. Personal protective equipment, medication, and other supplies are being provided not only through UMCOR’s International Disaster Response program, but through grants from Imagine No Malaria. These lifesaving items can protect healthcare workers and give Ebola patients a better chance at survival.

UMCOR’s Global Health team has been checking in weekly with health boards in both Sierra Leone and Liberia. These health boards, supported and trained with funding from Imagine No Malaria, have become indispensable hubs of information. United Methodist healthcare facilities in West African countries continue to provide services to all, regardless of people’s religious beliefs or ability to pay.

Admittedly, the best way to combat such a widespread killer like malaria is disputed. However, INM is committed to using best practices to achieve a sustainable victory against malaria, without causing undue harm to the African people and the places where they live.

Although DDT was one of the contributing factors in eradicating malaria in the United States in the 1950s, studies found that the use of this chemical caused numerous health and environmental concerns. Because of these studies, the use of DDT has been limited in eradicating malaria elsewhere around the world. Low doses of DDT are still used sparingly, but more commonly a similar, less-harmful insecticide is used whenever possible.

One example of this is in the treatment of the bed nets we use. The insecticide used on the nets gives the family another layer of protection while they sleep. When the nets are distributed, the families are instructed to hang them up outside to air out for a day before installation in their houses.