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By: Margaret Reilly McDonnell,  Alison Oliveira Wheeler

Deadly yet preventable: a statement on racial injustice in the United States from Nothing But Nets

June 4, 2020

Our team at the Nothing But Nets campaign stand in solidarity with those fighting to address the systemic racism, discrimination, and inequities that persist in the United States. We are horrified at the long-standing mistreatment and violence against black Americans, including most recently Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

Principals of equity and justice are core to the mission of Nothing But Nets – it’s who we are and what we do. For almost 15 years, we have worked to ensure that the most vulnerable people – young children, pregnant women, and people living as refugees or who have been displaced with limited resources – are protected from malaria. We believe that everyone should have access to basic health services and that no one should die from a deadly, yet preventable disease.

Yet we understand that another deadly, yet entirely preventable disease plagues our society here in the United States – structural racism and biases that have fueled incidents of police brutality and significant health disparities. Black Americans have higher maternal and infant mortality rates; experience higher rates of discrimination, disrespect, and abuse in the healthcare system; and have been disproportionately impacted by the most deadly public health crisis in a century – COVID-19. Racism is a public health crisis that has marginalized people and communities of color throughout our country and around the globe.

So even though the fight to end malaria takes place beyond our borders, we have a responsibility to take a stand on issues in our own backyard. To be silent is to be complicit on an injustice that directly impacts the Nothing But Nets community and our overall fight for justice everywhere. To our team members, community leaders, and supporters that are hurting deeply, we are here for you and we will fight with you.

We believe we are at a critical inflection point. We challenge everyone to do their part to end the silence and work together towards a more just and equitable society and world. To take action, please check out our sister campaign UNA-USA’s toolkit.

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