Africa Fighting Malaria

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Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) is a non-profit group which states it "seeks to educate people about the scourge of Malaria and the political economy of malaria control." It is based in Washington D.C with an office in South Africa. AFM was formed in May 2000.[1] In June 2003 AFM was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit group in the United States.[2]

In January 2007 it signaled that it hoped to broaden its focus beyond malaria "to research, write and comment on other healthcare issues, including AIDS policy, the debate over access to essential medicines and the protection of intellectual property rights, and water rights."[2]


Countering malaria and DDT

AFM promotes the pesticide DDT as one of the most effective means of fighting malaria. It asserts that global health organizations must be free to employ all available tools to fight malaria and that the limited use of DDT for spraying homes and hospitals is a powerful and necessary tool in this fight.

Critics say AFN does not actually fight malaria, but is merely a pressure group that lobbies for increased use of DDT.

However, the World Health Organization has agreed that, carefully used, DDT is a highly effective means of reducing the incidence of malaria, particularly in Africa. The WHO approved the use of DDT for malaria control in September 2006.

DDT is very effective at killing the insect vectors of malaria. Compared to the harm caused by malaria, the mild harm caused by DDT (to humans) makes the use of DDT reasonable in certain areas and climates. However, its overuse for other purposes has contributed to the emergence of DDT-resistant mosquitoes and has been shown to harm birds and other animal populations, leading to bans on its use.

AFM ran a "Save Children From Malaria" campaign designed to prevent the Stockholm Convention from banning the use of DDT. The coalition consisted of

Criticism of WHOPES

In its 2007 annual report, AFM stated that in April it "published an influential report on the effect of UN-intervention in the nascent market for long-lasting insecticidal nets. The World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme, or WHOPES, sets industry standards for nets, but the review process is slow and opaque, limiting access and competition for public resources. Although WHO approval does not preclude a donor agency or government from buying a particular brand of net, in reality governments and donors rarely buy nets that are not WHO approved. Because WHOPES only meets once a year, an unintended consequence has been to limit the number of suppliers. This has led to a market dominated by one firm, high prices, accusations of corruption in the procurement process, and reduced choice for consumers. AFM’s report received good feedback from the WHO Global Malaria Program, the GFATM and net manufacturers, and its advocacy prompted donor support for the review process."[2]


Board Members


AFN director Richard Tren has worked in conjunction with other organizations, including the International Policy Network[1], the Free Market Foundation in South Africa (where he is a council member[3], a position he has held since at least 2005)[4] and the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. Tren also uses Africa Fighting Malaria as a platform for other health-related free-market opinions. In particular, with Amir Attaran, he has been vocal in attacking attempts (led by the Treatment Action Campaign) to supply generic versions of AIDS drugs to South Africa, on the grounds that this will stifle innovation.

Co-director Roger Bate is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


On its website AFM states that it "receives its funding from a number of different sources, however because of the nature of our work we have a policy of not accepting funds from any government, the insecticides industry or the pharmaceutical industry."[5]

In its Form 990 annual returns to the Internal Revenue Service, AFM discloses that it its first year of operation in 2003 it had total revenue of $1.261 million but had total expenses of only $136,000.[1] Jennifer Zambone, who was a director of the organisation and its only paid employee, earned $35,000.[6] The following year AFM's revenue plummeted to just under $71,000 but, with total expenses running to just over $299,000, it ate into its foundation grants. In 2004, the IRS return reveals that for 30 hours a week return, Roger Bate was paid $100,000 by the organisation. (Zambone's renumeration for her 40 hours a week had jumped from $35,00 to $60,000).[7]

By 2005 AFM's income had improved little, with additional revenue of a little over $87,000. With expenses running at$273,608, AFM once more chewed into its generous initial funding grants. While Bate once more pulled down $100,000 for his 30 hours a week, Zambone's remuneration dropped back down to $35,000.[8]

In 2007 AFM's finances deteriorated even further, with the group having total revenue of only $142,745 while expenses ran at $405,729 - a deficit of well over $262,000. With only $268,000 in reserves remaining, the group faces a bleak future unless it can tap into significant new funding sources.[9]

In the period between 2003 and 2005, despite all the columns written by Tren as a director of AFM, the IRS returns indicate that he was paid nothing. However, with Tren's move to Washington D.C in 2006 he took on the role of being both a board member and a director and was paid $59,167.[10] As Director and Chairman in 2007, Tren was paid $82,916.[11]

At the foot of an October 2008 opinion column, Richard Tren stated that "Africa Fighting Malaria is not funded by the insecticides or chemical industry. AFM’s advocacy on the EU insecticides regulations and our participation at events in Brussels and elsewhere has been funded by a grant made by the MCJ Amelior Foundation."[12]

Contact details

Richard Tren
1050 17th St NW # 520
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +1 202 223 3298
Fax: +1 202 223 3646

PO Box 17156, Congella
4013, South Africa
Tel/Fax: + 27 31 206 1416
Cell: +27 83 776 3820

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Africa Fighting Malaria, "Africa Fighting Malaria Annual Report", January 2003, p.1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AR2003" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Africa Fighting Malaria, "Annual Report January 2007", p. 1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AR2007" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Free Market Foundation, "Patrons, Council, Advisors & Committees: Council", Free Market Foundation website, accessed January 2009.
  4. Richard Tren, "Abolish exchange controls now", Free Market Foundation, November 15, 2005.
  5. Africa Fighting Malaria, "Funding", Africa Fighting Malaria website, accessed January 2009.
  6. Africa Fighting Malaria, "Africa Fighting Malaria Annual Report", January 2003, page 4.
  7. Africa Fighting Malaria, "Africa Fighting Malaria Annual Report 2004", August 2005, pages 1 and 4.
  8. Africa Fighting Malaria, "Africa Fighting Malaria Annual Report 2005", August 2005, pages 1 and 4.
  9. Africa Fighting Malaria, Form 990: 2007", Guidestar, page 1.
  10. Africa Fighting Malaria, Form 990: 2006", Guidestar, page 5.
  11. Africa Fighting Malaria, Form 990: 2007", Guidestar, page 5.
  12. Richard Tren, " Pesticides: an alternative view from Africa Fighting Malaria", Pesticide, October 19, 2008.

External links

Columns by AFM Staff

Reports by AFM

General Articles

  • Tim Lambert, DDT madness, Deltoid blog, February 11, 2005.