At i DonateByShopping.org, we are dedicated to making the best use of every dollar we receive. We are thus not happy with simply donating our income to any charity, but instead we have found what we believe to be the very best charities for effectiveness-per-dollar.
The four metrics which our charities have been assessed by, with help from the GiveWell organisation, are as follows:.
'Schistosomiasis ranks second only to malaria as the most common parasitic disease. However, it is the most deadly neglected tropical disease, killing an estimated 280,000 people annually. Found predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical climates, schistosomiasis infects more than 200 million people in as many as 78 countries, with approximately 90% of the burden occurring in Africa.'
'Schistosomiasis is transmitted by human contact with contaminated fresh water (lakes and ponds, rivers, dams) inhabited by snails carrying the parasite (see image of the lifecycle). Swimming, bathing, fishing and even domestic chores such as washing clothes and herding livestock can put people at risk of contracting the disease. Larvae emerge from the snails and swim in the water until they come into contact with an individual and penetrate the skin. Once inside the body, the larvae develop into male and female worms that pair up and live together in the blood vessels for years. Female worms release thousands of eggs, some of which are passed out of the body in the urine and feces. If people urinate or defecate in bodies of freshwater, the eggs migrate to snails where they eventually hatch and begin the cycle again.
Some Schistosoma eggs remain trapped in the body and migrate to specific organs (depending on the variety of parasite) where they can inflict major damage to internal organs. Urinary schistosomiasis causes scarring and tearing of the bladder and kidneys, and can lead to bladder cancer. Intestinal schistosomiasis develops slowly, causing abdominal bleeding; enlargement of the liver, lungs and spleen; and damage to the intestines. A major indicator of the disease is blood in the urine and/or feces.' (SCI, 2018)
The mission of SCI is to help those who suffer from and are at risk of Neglected Tropical Diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. They have the vision of controlling and eliminating these diseases as public health problems, hence improving childhood development, school attendance, educational performance, pregnancy outcomes, and worker productivity among the world's poorest populations.
They aim to achieve this by:
Malaria is a highly preventable disease - in fact, since 2010, malaria mortality rates have fallen by 29%. Eradicating malaria altogether is a monumental scientific, logistical and technological challenge (but worthy of optimism), but reducing the number of malaria cases worldwide is much more of a financial one.
Malaria spreads when a mosquito bites one person who is already infected, then bites another uninfected person afterwards. Hence, when a population has many infected persons, then malaria spreads much easier and can be said to be 'out of control'. Once the number of cases of malaria has been brought into the dozens, then prevention and tighter controls becomes much easier, and in a way a permanent solution is found. This has been done in the past in countries like the Netherlands and Vietnam.
Malaria being brought 'under control' is an important point, and this is this vision AMF has for Africa. In Africa the malaria problem is 'out of control' because it is so widespread and Africa as a continent is poor and does not have the resources to fight it successfully on its own. The major limiting factor in bringing malaria under control, or 'rolling back malaria', is money.
It is hoped that in the coming years or decades, scientists will find a method of eradicating malaria altogether. This, however, is not in the immediate future, and AMF aims to save as many lives as possible until such a breakthrough occurs. (AMF, 2018)
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