World Malaria Day: Zero Malaria Starts With Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
25 APR 2020
Infectious diseases like malaria have a severe impact on health systems. As “one against malaria”, our company supports epidemiological surveillance research network in Africa to make health system more resilient in responding to crisis.
The April 25th World Malaria Day this year, under the theme “Zero Malaria Starts with me”, wants to highlight the importance of robust international and national epidemiological surveillance and health care systems and to sustain malaria prevention and control interventions.
Indeed, despite of the remarkable progress made, malaria still remains a major health and social burden. Close to half a million of children die every year, one every two minutes, and over 200 million people affected need care.
Robust health systems are therefore our primary line of defense, and our company has continued to be heavily involved in projects for health system preparedness, strengthening and resilience which are at the cornerstone of its Global Health Institute and its anti-malarial engagement.
In addition to the development of innovations and technologies, the institute has implemented on the ground training to detect communicable and fever-related diseases that will reach beyond malaria.
Recently, the Institute, at the forefront of research in the field, has generated unprecedented data on the local presence of the malaria pathogen parasites (Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale) through a collaborative pilot project in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia which is currently broadening its scope. In partnership with local institutions in Africa, the Institute is establishing PAVON (Pan-African Vivax and Ovale Network): an African Network of Centers of Excellence for the epidemiological surveillance and scientific research on malaria. Involving over 10 African countries, the project has the objective to support policy making, to offer trainings to the next generation of African scientists and thus, to make health care systems more resilient to crisis.
Defining this network for the epidemiological surveillance of P.vivax and P.ovale - forms of malaria that were never thought to be present in Africa before - is a need as it will allow to control all forms of malaria and be ready for response to disease threats.
But this cannot be all. In these difficult times, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, aims at marking World Malaria Day on April 25th to continue its efforts for life-saving malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services.
Zero Malaria starts with us: Let’s be the generation that ends Malaria!