The World Health Organisation’s 2021 World Malaria Report highlighted that the global fight against this disease is at a precarious juncture. Malaria burden was estimated to be higher in 2020 than in previous years – largely as a result of COVID-19 disruptions to prevention and control efforts. The pandemic is estimated to have led to a 12% increase in malaria-related deaths and a range of challenges continue to threaten future progress towards disease elimination, including insecticide and drug resistance, climate- and conflict-related humanitarian emergencies, as well as a new invasive mosquito species threat in the Horn of Africa.
Despite these challenges, history has shown that malaria is a largely preventable disease. In the 10 years preceding 2020 there was significant progress in reducing malaria-related deaths and the majority of that can be attributed to the funding and efforts allocated towards vector control. Maintaining that momentum remains critical and therefore we lend our voice to that of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and many other partners calling for the global community to support the Global Fund Replenishment target of at least US$18 billion for implementation of programs between 2024 and 2026.
The RBM partnership to End malaria highlights how the elimination of malaria will be realized by:
- Mobilizing new funding
- Harnessing data to scale up and optimize effective current and newer tools
- Advancing a robust pipeline of transformative tools
- Building stronger health systems and increasing surveillance
- Increasing country ownership and activating new champions
For more than 50 years, the Environmental Science Business Group of Bayer has been involved in developing vector control tools which suit the needs for malaria prevention. In 2022 we will be embarking on a new journey as we become a separate entity from Bayer but our commitment towards malaria vector control remains, and our investment in advancing our own robust pipeline of transformative tools is maintained.
We look forward to continuing some of the initiatives and partnerships which we already established in 2021:
For the past two years we have teamed up with the UN Foundation United to Beat Malaria (formerly Nothing But Nets) and The MENTOR Initiative to support the extension of the indoor residual spraying (IRS) campaign in Borno State, Nigeria. With our support, including the use of our IRS product Fludora® Fusion, a reduction in malaria incidence of 58% was achieved in sprayed districts, compared to the previous year. We look forward to continuing this partnership with future campaigns, not only in Nigeria but also in South Sudan.
- We continue to work with the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) in product development partnerships, exploring options for expanding the vector control toolbox.
- In 2021 we launched an initiative to enhance waste management of spray campaigns. In a pilot project in Sub-Saharan Africa our team worked with the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and local organizations to install a Phytobac plant, designed to provide an effective and sustainable way to deal with chemical effluents and wastewater generated from cleaning processes in spray campaigns. The plant will be continuously studied to show its positive impact on the local environment through the improved degradation and disposal of spray campaign wastes.
As Environmental Science works towards becoming an independent company, we remain committed to supporting invaluable partnerships like these that strive to advance the fight against malaria. Today, let’s recognize the significant progress that has been made by country malaria programs even under the challenges created by COVID-19, and reiterate the plea to the global community for the Global Fund Replenishment. Advance Equity. Build Resilience. End Malaria