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Notice about research

Giving What We Can no longer conducts our own research into charities and cause areas. Instead, we're relying on the work of organisations including J-PAL, GiveWell, and the Open Philanthropy Project, which are in a better position to provide more comprehensive research coverage.

These research reports represent our thinking as of late 2016, and much of the information will be relevant for making decisions about how to donate as effectively as possible. However we are not updating them and the information may therefore be out of date.

Impact Summary

  • Importance: 4/5
  • Tractability: 4/5
  • Neglectedness: 3/5

Fast Facts

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease with a massive global health burden: in 2015, the WHO estimated that at least 438,000 deaths were attributable to malarial infections.
  • Malaria also has wide-reaching effects beyond human health: communities with a high incidence of the disease suffer grave economic consequences, including diminished productivity and lower lifetime incomes .
  • Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) have been demonstrated to effectively reduce malaria prevalence at a relatively low cost.

Malaria is a devastating neglected tropical disease that infects over 200 million people every year, and kills as many as half a million, mostly children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The disease represents an enormous health burden in low-income nations, accounting for approximately 25% of child deaths (excluding neonatal mortality). Even for those who do not die from the disease, malaria negatively affects morbidity in several debilitating ways. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that malaria incidence carries with it a host of negative economic consequences.

For the donor, long lasting insecticide-treated bednets (LLINs) are a highly cost-effective intervention for targeting malaria. There is excellent evidence to suggest that among public health interventions, LLIN distribution offers some of the best value for a philanthropist's money.