If you are reading this now, you might answer yes. For those who cannot access this website, who live across the digital divide, the answer might be no. What is it that the internet can do to help control, eliminate and maybe even eradicate malaria? Information is one key internet service that can help people plan and advocate as the sample of sites below indicate.
- To keep us up with latest news and scientific developments the RBM partnership sends out weekly news summaries and updates and occasional announcements for those on its e-mailing list
- The Malaria Roundtable Group of the Global Health Council sends out regular updates on key program and legislative activities
- Friends of Africa send out an e-newsletter on malaria control progress especially as related to Global Fund grants
- Malaria World also sends out e-mail updates on malaria news and scientific publications (MalariaWorld, inga@MALARIA-WORLD.com)
- Malaria Journal offers a service to sign on for notices of newly published articles
The internet is a place where people can donate. Reuters reports that, “Now 25 and a fourth-year political science student at Harvard University, Hadfield came up with the idea for www.MalariaEngage.org after a trip to Zambia last summer that gave him a close-up look at the mosquito-born disease.” At this site one can review ongoing malaria research projects and donate to these. At Malaria no More one can actually donate toward ITN supplies for Africa, and learn about ‘your gifts in action’ as in Uganda. Nets for Life offer a similar service. Other sites abound these days.
In Europe the Malaria Consortium is ‘mobilizing for malaria.‘ The European Alliance against Malaria is also engaged in education and advocacy. Individual endemic countries have websites for their Global Fund Central Coordinating Mechanisms that give updates on programming, including malaria. Every time one looks, there is news coming out on malaria. One can even set up on Google and Yahoo special daily e-mail notices about topics of interest – that is where I get many timely malaria ideas for these blog entries.
Can the internet mobilize enough political will and financial resources to eliminate malaria? Maybe not in the immediate future. But it’s role and scope has grown greatly since the launch of the US President’s Malaria Initiative and continues to grow. Let’s all continue to contribute to the flow of information, advocacy and donations on the internet and hope that constant attention to the challenge of malaria will ultimately bring about a critical mass of civil society, government, private sector and NGO support to eliminate the disease.
(PS – the sites mentioned above are only a sample – let us know if you have other examples.)