Malaria, a disease primarily of poverty and inequity, causes sickness and death, reduces productivity and creates hunger, especially in impoverished, rural farming communities. Those suffering from malaria, or caring for sick family members, are unable to work. Malaria illness in children impacts their education and families often spend what little money they have on transport to health clinics and medication to treat the disease.
Despite success in reducing the number of malaria deaths by 7 million over the last two decades, the fight against malaria is threatened by a number of challenges. These include insecticide resistance, changing mosquito behavior, flat budgets and possibly climate change. And now as the world struggles to respond to COVID-19, there is a significant risk that prevention and treatment programs for malaria will be disrupted.
For more than 60 years, Bayer has been active in the field of malaria prevention and treatment and today our team around the world supports malaria control programs through the development and supply of safe and effective vector control tools, including residual sprays for houses and active ingredients for insecticide treated nets. These insecticide-based tools remain the most cost effective means to prevent the disease today.
//Action is needed now, more than ever
The World Health Organization urges countries to ensure the continuity of malaria prevention and control measures, while taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “As COVID-19 continues its rapid spread, WHO would like to send a clear message to malaria-affected countries in Africa,” said Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Program “Do not scale back your planned malaria prevention, diagnostic and treatment activities.”
This year, and throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Bayer continues to support our partners implementing vector control by ensuring the ongoing availability of vector control tools to those most in need. Our production sites and supply chain teams remain operational and are working hard to overcome the challenges presented created by the pandemic of Covid-19. We also continue to invest in research and development activities to identify new transformative tools to fight against the disease.
For us, malaria has been, is and continues to be - high on the agenda.
On this World Malaria Day Bayer joins the community speaking up on the importance of upholding progress and commitments made in the fight to end malaria #ZeroMalariaStartswithMe
To learn more about Bayer’s fight against malaria and other Neglected Tropical Diseases, visit follow @BayerMalaria, @Bayer4Crops or track the conversation #WorldMalariaDay