GBCHealth Insights: How the Private Sector Can Best Address Malaria | February 2012

Private Sector Insights on Malaria

This month, the GBCHealth Insights newsletter provides updates on progress made in addressing malaria. As noted in the WHO’s World Malaria Report, significant strides have been made in scaling-up bednet distribution and use. This scale-up, along with improvements in diagnostics and treatment, has led to a decline in malaria incidence and malaria-specific mortality. But gaps remain. Read on to learn more about how and why the private sector can move the fight against malaria forward by driving increased diagnostic testing for malaria – helping doctors ensure that patients are properly diagnosed before being placed on malaria treatment.

At the GBCHealth Conference on May 14-15 (New York City) we will host a special session exploring the efforts to eliminate malaria from Southern Africa … entirely. Is it possible? We hope you’ll join us in May for this event.

For companies looking to take their current malaria programs to the next level, we’ve gathered several useful resources in this issue. Case studies from recent GBCHealth program award winners highlight powerful partnerships supporting prevention and treatment of malaria. The recently published GBCHealth report on Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) explains the nuts and bolts of this powerful intervention. And a malaria vaccine update and news from the President’s Malaria Initiative provide timely situation assessments.

Improving Malaria Diagnostics to Help End Malaria: An Opportunity for Corporate Sector Engagement

Oladele Olagundoye, MD, MPH | Atlas Corps Fellow, Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) | GBCHealth

Investment in malaria has increased considerably in recent years, driven in great part by the roll-out of malaria prevention tools and the development of new diagnostic tests and effective anti-malarial medicines. There has also been an increased focus on the case management of malaria, with new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines emphasizing the need to properly diagnosis malaria before beginning treatment. It has been common practice, where diagnostic capability is limited, for health providers to prescribe anti-malaria drugs based on a patient’s symptoms alone. This new diagnosis-focused approach has been adopted to contain the emergence of drug-resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for malaria.

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What can companies do?

  • Collaborate with the in-country National Malaria Control Program to support health promotion campaigns
  • Sponsor training workshops for technicians to improve the quality of testing
  • Plug infrastructure gaps by building temperature-controlled structures or providing back-up equipment to supply electricity to support proper storage of test kits
  • Facilitate the efficient delivery of RDTs in-country from central or district-level stores to the local communities through corporate supply and distribution networks


Can Southern Africa Eliminate Malaria?

May 14-15, 2012 | New York City

GBCHealth will host its signature event, the GBCHealth Conference and Awards Dinner on May 14 – 15, 2012. With “Defining Forward” as the theme, each headline session will explore and address key global health issues. Notably, the malaria themed session will bring together government leaders from the Elimination 8 countries (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and other public and private-sector stakeholders – to discuss the ambitious drive to accelerate malaria elimination from Southern Africa by 2020.

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Recognition, Visibility for Corporate Leadership in Global Health

May 14-15, 2012 | New York City

The Business Action on Health Awards recognize the most innovative and results-oriented achievements in corporate engagement on global health. Past award winners that addressed malaria include two powerhouse partnerships. Coca-Cola was recognized by GBCHealth for Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s participation in NetsforLife, a collaborative partnership that also included the Exxon Mobil Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Starr International Foundation, White Flowers Foundation and Episcopal Relief and Development. NetsforLife implemented integrated malaria prevention through a network of local faith-based organizations and NGOs.

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Diageo, Heineken and Unilever were commended by GBCHealth for their program relating to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. These three companies used their supply chains of their local operations to improve access and supplies for AIDS, TB and malaria related prevention, counseling, testing and treatment measures for the employees and their dependents.

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Learn more about the 2012 Business Action on Health Awards »

Indoor Residual Spraying Report Now Available

IRS Basics, Plus Overview of Regional and National Priorities

On October 10-11, 2011 GBCHealth, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) convened The Business Case for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS): a Private Sector Workshop on Comprehensive Malaria Control in Johannesburg, South Africa. This event brought together more than 80 participants representing over 50 organizations within the business, government and non-profit sectors, of which 19 were GBCHealth members and partners. The rich workshop discussions and presentations over the two days focused on national and regional priorities for IRS and the nuts and bolts of IRS. The workshop set the stage for increased corporate action in IRS over the next five years. Illovo Sugar along with GBCHealth members AngloGold Ashanti and Newmont Mining have committed to continue their efforts in integrated vector management.

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Download the report »


Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Top international mining company, Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. (Freeport), has been a GBCHealth member since January 2011. Freeport has shown exemplary leadership in sustainability by ensuring the health and safety of its workforce. Last year, its remarkable gains achieved with its malaria work in its sites of operations were featured in the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) Best Practices and Interventions publication. (Click here to access Freeport’s case study on their exemplary malaria control programs). With approximately 30,000 employees, Freeport is the leading producer of copper, gold and molybdenum. The company has operations in regions that are development and resource constrained as well as heavily burdened with malaria infection. By partnering with the local government and NGOs, Freeport has been successful in making important public health impacts in the communities where it conducts business.

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Highlights: WHO’s 2011 World Malaria Report

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the 2011 World Malaria Report in Geneva on Tuesday, December 13, 2011. The report summarizes information received from 106 malaria-endemic countries. It provides statistics on major successes in the scale-up and coverage of at-risk populations with prevention tools. These include increases in the percentage of households that own at least one insecticide-treated bed net from 3% in 2000 to 50% in 2010 ( Africa region), and increases in the percentage of homes protected by Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) from less than 5% in 2005 to 11% in 2010. These combinations of efforts on prevention and provision of effective diagnostic and treatment services have produced declines in the incidence of malaria by 17% and decreases in malaria-specific mortality rates by 26% in 2010. However, there are existing challenges that the report reviews and there is the call for collective actions to effectively tackle these problems.

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Malaria Vaccines Update

Malaria remains a lethal disease that claims over 800,000 lives every year – mostly children under five years of age. Malaria experts are optimistic that an effective vaccine will be an important tool to propel the elimination of malaria when combined with other existing prevention interventions. These are some of the recent research strategies and promising vaccine candidates under development:

  • The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline and PATH MVI, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supporting MVI
  • The Live Attenuated Sporozoite Vaccine from Sanaria Incorporated, a biotechnology company based in Rockville, Maryland
  • The Genetically Attenuated Parasite Vaccine from Seattle BioMed, a non-profit research institute with headquarters in Seattle, Washington
  • The Transmission Blocking Vaccine from the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health

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USAID/President’s Malaria Initiative Scale-up to Fifteen Countries

In 2010, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, which together account for almost half of the burden of malaria on the African continent, became new President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) focus countries with the launch of important jump-start activities to prevent and treat malaria. Through an expanded IRS program, a US$189 million and a three-year contract with Abt Associates, PMI is providing technical and financial support to the Ministries of Health and National Malaria Control Programs in African countries to build country-level capacity that will comprise the implementation of IRS in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with the possibility of expansion based on malaria control needs and availability of resources.

Malaria Elimination Atlas

The Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco in collaboration with the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) and with funding from GBCHealth member ExxonMobil, has developed a first-of-its kind Atlas of Malaria-Eliminating Countries. The Atlas displays the geographic distribution of malaria today in those 36 countries that are closest to eliminating the disease.

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Chevron De-brands, Shares its Malaria Resources to Expand their Reach

Chevron Corporation announced at the CAMA meeting that it will de-brand its malaria materials and training resources. These high-quality materials, used worldwide by Chevron employees, will now be available for use by colleagues in other companies. This pioneer initiative will promote the exchange of best practices and sharing of experiences on malaria workplace programs among corporate sector partners.