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LIMBURGERHOF, Germany and LONDON and SEATTLE, Oct. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To mark the Sixth Replenishment Conference of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, BASF, MedAccess and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced an agreement that will facilitate the supply of 35 million Interceptor® G2 mosquito nets to combat malaria. The four-year agreement accelerates access to this innovative new mosquito-control technology in countries where progress is stalling due to insecticide resistance.
The agreement enables BASF to better plan long-term resources and reduce the cost of the new nets by an average of 40% over the contract period. This will make the nets more accessible and affordable for countries where insecticide resistance is growing, and conventional nets are becoming less effective. The new nets will help to protect the health of millions of people particularly in countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.
Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: “Mosquito control, particularly through bed nets, has been the cornerstone of our progress against malaria over the past 15 years. But insecticide resistance is threatening progress in some of the highest-burden countries. This agreement will help us stay ahead of resistance and bring new tools that are much needed to the fight against a disease that can be effectively prevented.”
Every year, malaria kills around 435,000 people and there are an estimated 219 million cases. Nowhere is the problem more severe than in Africa with more than 90% of deaths. Beyond loss of life, malaria disrupts education, industries and national economies. It is a major cause of global poverty. Saori Dubourg, member of the BASF board of directors said: “For half the world’s population, every day is a fight against malaria. Malaria is preventable and treatable, yet it still causes the death of a child under five years old every two minutes. This agreement will ensure that this innovative new net technology gets to those regions where it is most needed and saves lives.”
In recent years, the fight against malaria has made significant progress. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been responsible for 69% of the 663 million clinical cases of malaria averted between 2000 and 2015. However, after many years of declining incidence rates, the highly adaptable mosquito has developed resistance to the insecticides commonly used in malaria prevention, causing the number of cases to rise again. More than 60 countries now report resistance to at least one insecticide class used to combat malaria. Health experts are calling for new tools and collaborations to regain momentum.
BASF’s new Interceptor G2 mosquito net is based on two insecticides and has been designed specifically to combat resistance in the fight against malaria. For more than a decade, BASF scientists worked to successfully repurpose alpha-cypermethrin and chlorfenapyr, a completely new insecticide class for public health, for use together on mosquito nets. The dual-insecticide net received an interim recommendation from the World Health Organization in 2017 – the first for a product based on a new class of chemistry in more than 30 years.
Michael Anderson, CEO of social financing company, MedAccess, said: “We are immensely motivated by the results of this collaboration. If we are to stand a chance of beating malaria, exciting new technology like the Interceptor G2 mosquito nets must be made widely available. By introducing a new financial model, we have been able to support a reduction in the price of the nets, speed up their distribution and ensure there is a reliable supply. Now, we will replicate efforts in other areas to ensure financial and practical barriers to accessing medicines are broken down, for good.”
Dr Yacouba Savadogo is national coordinator for the Programme National de Lutte contre le Paludisme in Burkina Faso, where the first nets will be distributed in 2019. He is also optimistic that malaria can be beaten if organizations work together. “It will depend on strategy, finance and implementation, but with combined and continuous efforts, we can do it,” he commented. “We have to combine many approaches and put our forces together to fight malaria across whole regions, because mosquitoes do not respect borders.”
Today’s announcement is a key achievement for public private partnership and reflects the commitment of organizations such as the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) who partnered with BASF to support the development of the Interceptor G2 nets. It also supports the objectives of the New Nets Project, co-financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Unitaid, and led by IVCC. The New Nets Project will pilot and evaluate the impact of mosquito nets with new insecticide combinations in countries hardest hit by malaria. Overall, the agreement builds on the collaboration and efforts of the Global Fund, Unitaid and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, who are helping to bring life-saving products to communities afflicted with malaria.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2018, our division generated sales of €6.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.basfpublichealth.com or www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
MedAccess is a UK-based social finance company with the pioneering mission to make global healthcare markets work for everyone. Our core purpose is to make medical supplies more widely available at lower prices in under-served markets. By applying the rigour and skills of business finance, we’re providing a novel solution to the challenge. We offer volume guarantees that reduce commercial risk and allow medical manufacturers to accelerate supplies into new markets at affordable and sustainable prices. In this way, vaccines, medicines, diagnostic tests and medical devices can reach patients far sooner than existing market forces would allow. For more information see www.medaccess.org and follow MedAccess on Twitter @MedAccessUK.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
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