World Malaria Day is here. Are you wearing your UAM bracelet?
What's the most powerful tool to protect a child from malaria?
There are many: long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets, rapid diagnostic tests, artemisinin-based combination therapies, and antenatal care for pregnant women. But for World Malaria Day (April 25), there's a tool that's both powerful and simple, the United Against Malaria bracelet--and it's one of the easiest ways to raise funds for malaria control efforts in Africa.
To purchase a UAM bracelet in North America, visit ONE. In South Africa, visit Digital Mall. For all UAM champions around the world, please visit Relate's "Where to Buy a Bracelet" page or click on the following photo:
More than just a colorful string of beads, the UAM bracelet is a symbol of one's commitment to the fight against malaria. One US dollar from each bracelet sold is donated to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria to invest in mosquito nets and treatment. Lauren Gillis, whose social enterprise Relate Bracelets has made and sold 600,000 UAM bracelets, says more than half a million children will be protected from malaria as a result.
“The purpose of Relate Bracelets is to make a tangible difference in people’s lives,” she says. “We are delighted at the impact the sale of the UAM bracelets has made to those who are at such great risk of contracting malaria. And the impact doesn’t end there. Relate is a not-for-profit social enterprise, in which approximately one third of proceeds covers expenses, one third is donated to the cause--in this case United Against Malaria--and one third goes towards creating earning and upskilling opportunities for local bracelet-makers and supports enterprise development initiatives to uplift communities. This means that countless lives are changed with every single bracelet sold.”
Malaria is still a very real disease throughout Africa and the world, even though it is preventable and treatable.
Anna McCartney-Melstad of Voices for a Malaria-Free Future represents United Against Malaria in South Africa. Like the people Voices works to protect, she has seen the impact of malaria not only in South Africa but throughout the continent. “Many people in developed nations view malaria as a disease that is no longer an issue,” she says. “And yet every year, malaria kills 650,000 people, mostly pregnant women and children under five, which is completely unacceptable for a disease that is both preventable and treatable.”
This World Malaria Day, the Voices team will be wearing their UAM bracelets, alongside UAM champions in entertainment, football, business, government and health.
“World Malaria Day gives cause to reflect on the remarkable progress made thus far in combatting this disease, which kills an innocent African child every minute,” Anna adds. “However, with infectious diseases, it’s vital that success does not cause us to level off our efforts, but rather to strengthen them in order to defeat Africa’s number one killer once and for all.”
Relate bracelets are distinguished from similar bracelets on the market by the inclusion of a pewter “R” bead, The “R” bead is the consumer’s guarantee that that particular bracelet has been made by Relate, a 100% not-for-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa, and ensures that maximum proceeds go towards the cause, work creation opportunities and skills and enterprise development.
“The wonderful thing about Relate’s UAM bracelets is that it gives everyone who cares a tangible opportunity to make a real difference this World Malaria Day," Anna says. "Please join us. Save a child’s life, get your UAM bracelet from retailers who care, including selected GAME and Tiger’s Eye curio stores like Indaba and Out of Africa as well as online through the causes section on www.digitalmall.com.”
To see how the UAM bracelet is made and who it impacts, check out this video.