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Knitters Against Malaria

Malaria is a cruel disease that remains widespread in spite of the fact that is entirely preventable and treatable. The statistics are heart breaking. Every year more than 200 million people fall ill with malaria and nearly half a million people die. Most deaths occur in Africa and young children are particularly vulnerable.

During the month of January, Knitters Against Malaria brings together many designers, yarn companies, publishers and other members of the knitting community to raise funds in support of the Against Malaria Foundation, which is an incredibly effective charity providing mosquito nets to people who cannot afford them.

 Every $2-3 finances a net that lasts 3-4 years and protects two people on average. A small donation can make a life changing difference.

Knitters Against Malaria is a fundraising effort initiated by Melanie Berg and Rosy Green Wool, and enthusiastically supported by us here at The Fibre Co. for personal reasons. The Fibre Co. founder Daphne Marinopoulos has a quite emotional connection to the charity and we wanted to take this opportunity to share her experiences and encourage you to contribute to something important.

How has your life been affected by malaria?
For a period of five years I lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden.  Prior to moving to Dakar, Senegal, I received a thorough briefing about the disease including how it was contracted and steps I could take to prevent illness. I learned that despite the high rate of cases and deaths, the disease was preventable and curable. I felt safe that the risk to my health was mitigated by knowledge, preventative drugs and protective barriers.

Why is this important to you?
Like many diseases, certain populations have a higher risk of contracting Malaria. Unfortunately, it is often the disadvantaged and more vulnerable that develop severe disease. The worst cases occur in infants, young children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people.  A woman I was close to when I lived in Senegal lost her daughter to a bad case of Malaria. She had been visiting family in the rural countryside where she was unprotected. A simple mosquito net could have prevented this tragedy.

What do you want people to know about Knitters Against Malaria and the importance of prevention.
Malaria is preventable and can be overcome but it will take continued effort and care to provide education and protection to the vulnerable. There are global public health strategies in place to achieve significant reductions in Malaria cases and deaths by 2030, but help is needed to implement these. The work of Knitters Against Malaria can be a big part of this approach through the simple act of providing nets.

You can learn more about the Knitters Against Malaria fundraising effort by visiting the website www.knittersagainstmalaria.org

And you can learn more about the Against Malaria Foundation by visiting www.againstmalaria.com

Thank you to Melanie Berg and Rosy Green Wool for organising this fundraising effort and supporting an important charity.

Photos courtesy of the Against Malaria Foundation

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