ZAMBIA PIONEERS ‘POWER OF ONE’ CHILD MALARIA TREATMENT CAMPAIGN
First 200,000 malaria tests and treatments distributed in global campaign to close malaria treatment gap in Africa
As part of a pioneering partnership between the Zambian Ministry of Health, US-based nonprofit organisation, Malaria No More, and two leading healthcare companies Novartis, the world’s leading provider of malaria treatments, and Alere, the world’s leading manufacturer of rapid diagnostic tests for malaria, 200,000 Coartem® Dispersible child treatments and some 200,000 SD Bioline rapid diagnostic tests started reaching children in Zambia in July. This first delivery kicked off the countdown to the debut of Malaria No More’s new Power of One campaign, coming this fall.
Power of One is a campaign to engage the global public and the world’s most innovative companies to help close the malaria treatment gap in Africa using the latest mobile, social, and e-commerce technologies. Every dollar donated will fund a full course of life-saving treatment for a child diagnosed with malaria. The first 200,000 tests and 200,000 treatment courses have started to fill Zambia’s testing and treatment gaps with the goal to ensure every child with malaria is treated between now and the end of 2015.
“We’re proud to work with the Zambian government and its partners to make Zambia the first Power of One country and to help ensure every child with malaria gets the treatment they need,” said Malaria No More Chief Executive Officer Martin Edlund. “And we’re especially excited about the role mobile technology is playing in this campaign on the ground and in the U.S. to report timely progress back to the government and campaign supporters.”
The Zambian government has demonstrated strong leadership, commitment and innovation in the malaria fight, by:
- Contributing US$24 million (ZMW127 million) of domestic financing towards malaria control in 2013
- Announcing plans to eliminate malaria initially in five areas in the southern and Lusaka provinces nationwide;
- Introducing an innovative SMS reporting system with partners Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA), a program at PATH, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to provide weekly updates on tests and treatments from 500 health workers across the country.
Zambia’s Health Minister, Dr. Joseph Kasonde is delighted that partners are positively responding to assist the health sector in addressing/reducing the gap for malaria testing tools and treatment, in particular the pediatric formulation for children under five years old who are the most affected.
“The coming on board of Malaria No More and other private sector companies is a clear demonstration of the flourishing public-private sector partnership in the country, which in my view is our hope for Zambia and other endemic countries to reduce malaria and move towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” said Dr. Kasonde.
He said Zambia’s success story is anchored on strong partnership at global, national and community levels and has put in deliberate measures to continue to attract new partners as part of its malaria fight and elimination agenda.
“Novartis is excited to be the treatment partner for the Power of One campaign, continuing our long history of pioneering in the fight against malaria,” says Dr. Linus Igwemezie, Head of the Novartis Malaria Initiative. “We are particularly pleased that Zambia is the first beneficiary for the Power of One campaign. We commend them for their history of success in fighting malaria.”
The first consignment of 200,000 Coartem® Dispersible child treatments from Novartis for the Power of One campaign was raised during World Malaria Day, April 25, 2013, in partnership with Novartis and the Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO) film Mary and Martha, which was released in advance of World Malaria Day 2013. Novartis, the world’s leading provider of malaria treatments, has committed to donate up to three million full courses of its pediatric antimalarial drug as part of the Power of One campaign, and will support the campaign financially over the next three years. Alere, the world’s leading manufacturer of rapid diagnostic tests for malaria and several chronic and infectious diseases, will donate two million rapid diagnostic tests over the next two years to accurately diagnose the disease in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Zambia partners contributing to the Power of One campaign include John Snow, Inc. (JSI), PATH/MACEPA, Peace Corps, and the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
The Power of One campaign will officially launch in the United States in fall 2013. Until then, people can sign up to learn more at www.Po1.org.