The organizations that collaborate under the banner of the United Against Malaria Campaign are a special group: they are as crazy about football, as they are about ending deaths from malaria by the year 2015! Originally selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to start up the campaign due to their role as malaria advocates, the UAM campaign boasts partners from a much broader swath of society.
Today the campaign includes partners from the football world, including African Football Federations, the Confederation of Africa Football, the Unions of Professional Football Players.
The campaign also boasts a large range of media contributors to include pan-African broadcasters such as SuperSport, Africa 24, CFI, and important national television stations which reach most successfully into homes in the Voices focus countries. Voices also works closely with media networks which include print journalists, radio producers and has trained them on malaria in the lead up to important tournaments like the east Africa Cup, CECAFA. Voices has put together a resource packet for media partners to give them the latest information on malaria and the UAM campaign.
The largest group of new campaign partners are more than 100 private sector companies who have joined the campaign since 2009 (see map below).
View UAM partners in a larger map
Since the lead up to the World Cup in 2010,African companies have joined forces with Voices to be sure that their employees were protected, their families and the communities in which the companies operate. Each partner is invited to join the Malaria Safe initiative, protecting employees and customers. However, many companies found immediate interest in lending their market presence to the malaria messages delivered by the UAM campaign.
SSB, in Tanzania, added the UAM logo to their flour sacks. Total, in Mali hung UAM banners in all their stations across Mali, and gas stations attendants wore UAM t-shirts on every day that the Mali team played in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers and games. In Cote d'Ivoire, 13 private sector companies proudly displayed their co-branded UAM banners in their entryways.
The organic, creative nature of the UAM partnerships made for exciting developments as companies learned from each other, across boarders, and shared in the excitement that with the UAM campaign, they were getting a chance to contribute in a meaningful way to putting an end to malaria!
In 2011, Voices saw the commitments of the UAM partners deepening as their sense of accomplishment grew.
In 2012, Voices collected data about partner contributions and found that all surveyed companies conducted educational activities related to malaria prevention and treatment! Employees are the main beneficiaries of these activities (88 percent), followed by neighboring communities (59 percent). Trainings and distribution of educational materials are the most common educational activity: 75 percent of surveyed companies conducted trainings and 50 percent distributed leaflets and posters. One third of the surveyed companies train nurses to use ACTs and/or RDTs. Three in four companies conducted protection activities. Net distributions are the most common protection activity, with more than 75 percent of the surveyed companies providing nets.
Nearly 50 percent of the companies provide health insurance to employees. 25 percent of the companies display the UAM logo publicly; another 25 percent sponsored UAM events, and nearly 30 percent had their CEO speak about malaria initiatives. Two companies started to collect data about malaria prevention and treatment expenditures, and three companies have full or partial data about malaria related absenteeism.
Three in four respondents agreed that their advocacy outreach should include messages about malaria control saving lives and money; one half agreed that companies are reducing costs and absenteeism through malaria control.