Malaria threatens almost half of the world’s population, with the WHO estimating a 2020 death toll of 627,000. However, it is a preventable and treatable disease. In August 2022 the Financial Times suggested that “partnerships with governments and NGOs can help advance efforts for future generations”. The article stated that a child dies from malaria each minute, with children under 5 being the most vulnerable population group.
In June 2022 the Rwandan government hosted the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Discussions addressed the “urgency of ending malaria and NTDs”. Ahead of this Summit, SC Johnson announced a partnership with The Global Fund to “accelerate the elimination of malaria”. The Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, Fisk Johnson, stated that his company has been “working for decades on preventative interventions and innovative solutions” but “can’t tackle this insidious disease alone”. SC Johnson has been developing Mosquito Shield for almost a decade. The “low-cost, effective indoor spatial repellent” is ideal for use where “core interventions may be constrained”. This development, with public health partners, is another sign of SC Johnson’s commitment to the cause.
Peter Sands, Executive Director of The Global Fund, believes that SC Johnson’s “strong expertise in entomology” will be a “key asset” against malaria. He is glad to see the private sector contributing “innovative solutions and technical expertise” to the fight. The Financial Times described the partnership as an “example of how private and public sectors can work together” through “entomological surveillance, end-user behavioural research, and product acceptability and use research”.
Throughout the last decade SC Johnson has committed more than $100 million to public health efforts in Africa. With this most recent partnership it will dedicate another $10 million. In 2021 the company joined the Society for Family Health Rwanda and East African Community leaders by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to tackle malaria. The goal is the reduction of mortality by 50% in 2025, ultimately eradicating it completely.
This partnership comes just ahead of The Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference 2022. Hosted by the US President, the target is “to raise at least US$18 billion to fund its next three-year cycle of grants”. This would contribute to life-saving treatments and preventions for 20 million people. Looking ahead to a “brighter future”, this partnership may be a step in the right direction to eliminate one of the world’s most prolific diseases.
To hear about progress towards malaria vaccines at the World Vaccine Congress in Europe 2022 click here to buy tickets.