UN social media envoys supporting malaria control

March 15, 2010

Today the United Nations announced their line up of special envoys who will help raise awareness of malaria control through social networks. The Social Media Envoy group consist of the world’s top new media e-fluentials, among others, such as Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon Brown; Pete Cashmore, CEO and founder of “Mashable–the Social Media Guide”; and Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Director of Marketing. Envoys will use their social profiles to inspire and activate individuals online and offline in support of malaria control and they have committed to taking one ‘social’ action for malaria, such as a tweet or status update, every month for the next year (starting from World Malaria Day on April 25).

The UN’s goal is to provide all endemic African countries with malaria control interventions by the end of 2010, working toward the aim of near-zero deaths from malaria by 2015. Over 190 million long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets have been delivered since 2007, covering nearly 400 million (over 50% of the endemic population) compared to less than 10 % in 2005. The progress of the coverage is tracked on the campaign website.  It’s great to see the UN using new channels and tools as well as involving new and influential people in development and health issues!