The USAID Office of Inspector General (OIG) launched the “Make a Difference” (MAD) Malaria campaign in several African countries to solicit the involvement of local communities in the fight against those who threaten overseas malaria programs. The MAD Malaria campaign’s main objective is to obtain actionable information concerning the theft, transshipment, resale or falsification of antimalarial drugs and commodities within the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative’s (PMI) focus countries. Local residents can partner directly with the MAD Malaria campaign to make a difference in their community by reporting individuals involved in the illicit sale, distribution or manufacture of these lifesaving commodities.
The campaign works in PMI-supported countries through U.S. embassies, USAID, implementers of malaria programming, local law enforcement and medicine regulators. A central feature of the campaign is the toll-free MAD malaria hotline that allows community members to report information on distributors, sellers and manufacturers of stolen or falsified malaria commodities. Relevant and actionable information from individuals merits cash rewards. The overall aim of the MAD Malaria campaign is to ensure the utility of PMI-procured commodities and programming, and incentivize citizens to participate in strengthening and protecting malaria programs within their countries.
Rewards for information concerning the theft or falsification of antimalarial drugs are being offered through the USAID OIG. Thousands of dollars may be paid as a reward, although the amount varies depending on the extent to which the information is new and actionable by the OIG. Anyone with information should contact the USAID OIG MAD Malaria Hotline via email at MADMalariaHotline@usaid.gov. All information will be kept strictly confidential, although it is necessary to reveal identity in order for OIG to pay a reward.
To date, the MAD Malaria campaign has launched in Benin, Nigeria and Malawi. The campaign is also working in Malawi to combat the issue of diverted medicine with external support from the Global Fund OIG. In Malawi, the MAD Malaria campaign raised awareness about the issues through newspaper advertisements, broadcast radio spots and a coordinated press briefing with the Global Fund OIG.