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Bayer commits to the fight against Malaria in southern Africa

Bayer commits to the fight against Malaria in southern Africa

Johannesburg, – Bayer has committed to the fight against Malaria in southern Africa as it announced the establishment of a partnership with Goodbye Malaria.

The partnership will see Bayer supporting Goodbye Malaria in Ending Malaria for Good, specifically in the Southern African countries.

According to figures published in the 2016 WHO malaria report, malaria cases have fallen by 21% between 2010 and 2015 with malaria death rates decreasing by 29% over the same period, providing the impetus for more action to accelerate malaria elimination.

In the last 15 years alone, vector-control has been responsible for preventing almost 80% of the total cases averted in Africa making vector-control key to reaching the goals of malaria elimination.

However, despite the success in recent years, it has widely been recognised that the magnitude and global reach of the disease requires the ongoing engagement of all major stakeholders to work together to provide expertise, investment and innovation.

“Bayer’s partnership with Goodbye Malaria is key to strengthening our respective commitment to expanding access to WHO-recommended vector control tools and to preventing people from contracting the disease,” explained Jose De Sousa, Country Group Head for Sub-Saharan Africa at Environmental Science, a Business Unit of the Crop Science Division at Bayer.

An initiative created and managed by African entrepreneurs, Goodbye Malaria has been raising funds for the past 4 years to deploy vector-control interventions, specifically indoor residual spraying (IRS), for preventing malaria cases in Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland and works closely with the National Malaria Control Programmes in those countries to ensure optimum impact. Goodbye Malaria is also playing a major role in educating people that malaria elimination is possible, recruiting many of them to to join in the fight against malaria.

“We are excited to collaborate with Bayer to expand our malaria control programmes as we share the common belief that malaria elimination is possible thanks to vector-control solutions,” said Sherwin Charles, Goodbye Malaria’s co-founder. “In gathering local as well as international, public and private partners around this common objective we expect to accelerate its fulfilment and End Malaria for Good”.

Goodbye Malaria’s philosophy and engagement resonates with Bayer’s commitment to malaria elimination and its mission of Science For A Better Life. Bayer has been involved in the development and supply of effective vector control solutions for over 60 years, which includes core interventions such as indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticide nets used in the fight against malaria.

“We are pleased to partner with Goodbye Malaria to jointly eliminate malaria in Mozambique and Swaziland by the year 2030,” said De Sousa. “The partnership established by Goodbye Malaria, which involves an international donor, government and the private sector, is the first of its kind and we are proud to be part of it. Through our vector-control solutions, together with the organisation we will contribute to protecting lives, to improve quality of life and to help maintain the social and economic development of these communities”.

In line with the WHO call for harnessing innovation, Bayer continues to invest in the development of new vector-control solutions, specifically targeting the challenge of insecticide resistance. The most recent development, Fludora™ Fusion, is the first two-way combination product for IRS, which will also introduce a new mode of action. Submitted to the WHO Pesticides Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) in October 2015, Bayer expects to have it available for use late in 2018.

“The management of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors relies largely on the implementation of IRS. Therefore, our partnership with Goodbye Malaria is particularly important. As Bayer continues to develop new tools to support the goal of ‘Ending Malaria for Good’, we can gain crucial insights from implementation challenges associated with IRS through this alliance,” added Justin McBeath, Market Segment Manager Malaria Vector Control at Bayer.

About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.