The Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, “Power of We” at the service of children suffering from Malaria in Ghana
27 AUG 2018
All sectors of our company marked the 2018 World Malaria Day in Accra, joining forces with the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation and ASPIRx to support the National Ghana Malaria Control Program.
Figure 1: The Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, "Power of We" with representation from Performance Materials (Bruno Moreira, first on the right; Bettina Magsaam, next; Samuel Somuyiwa, forth from the left), Life Sciences (Felix Akuamoah, second from the left; Mwai Ngibuini, third from the left), Healthcare (Patrick Amponsah, first on the left), Corporate Affairs (Manfred Klevesath, second on the right; Beatrice Greco, in the middle) and Africa Strategy (Fritz Sacher, in the middle)
Our companies current engagement in the area of Malaria is increasingly being recognized in the global health community. In particular, the ‘As One Against Malaria’ program led by the Global Health Institute that synergies and leverages internal Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, competencies from Performance Materials, Life Sciences and Healthcare is rather unique, and has allowed to open dialogues with numerous endemic African countries strongly invested into addressing their malaria related issues.
In Ghana, malaria remains unfortunately a major public health issue with an estimated average of 8 million cases and close to 13 000 deaths in 2016. Therefore, the National Malaria Control Program of Ghana has a keen interest in strengthening preventive measures with the goal to protect over 80% of its population at risk by 2020. As an example, the National Malaria Control Program led a screening campaign during the World Malaria Day (April 25th, 2018 – Accra), with our company as special guests.
Figure 2: Our companies delegates being invited guests at the Public Malaria Screening Event in Ashaiman, Ghana, organized by the National Malaria Control Program (Ghana Health Service)
To support this effort as well as to demonstrate our continued engagement in malaria, the Global Health Institute together with Performance Materials and Life Science, and with various Ghanaian partners such as ASPIRx (a Ghanaian owned and operated bio-pharmaceutical manufacturer), and the Infanta Foundation of the First Lady of Ghana organized a half-day symposium in Accra on April 25th. The symposium hosted an assembly of Ghanaian governmental officials, public health experts, key policy makers, distinguished malaria scientists and innovative solution providers, as well as representation from the German Embassy and UNICEF. The series of talks discussed the current malaria situation in Ghana and the challenges faced regarding prevention approaches.
The Forum was prized by the presence of the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana who confirmed her personal commitment to beat malaria and encouraged partnerships, including with private sectors, to provide solutions and services for all. She highlighted the need for people to protect themselves against mosquitoes including the use of insect repellents such as IR3535®.
This symposium was also the occasion for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to showcase the true value of the "Power of We". Performance Materials and Life Sciences showcased their competencies and know-how in delivering healthcare solutions addressing infectious diseases such as a safe insect repellent (IR3535®) applicable for babies and pregnant women and a new African vaccine production plant that will be launched soon in Accra, while the Global Health Institute described its As One Against Malaria portfolio.
This scientific event led to the signature by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the Infanta Foundation of the First Lady and ASPIRx of a Memorandum of Understanding to explore best approaches to provide solutions to protect local populations against specific infectious diseases, such as malaria.
Figure 3: the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo; ASPIRx Executive Chairman, Andrew Clocanas; Head of the German Mission to Ghana, Hans Hegel Sanders; Manager National Control Program, Keziah L. Malm, with the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, delegates at the Scientific Forum.
"The World Malaria Day has become an annual event for the Company. This year, it was a great opportunity to showcase the unique position of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, under the banner of our "As One Against Malaria" program to the community the most in need. The signature of the MoU with AspiRx and the Infanta Foundation is a sign of recognition of the value of all of our sectors in the fight against malaria" said Beatrice Greco, Head of R&D/Access, Global Health Institute. "We strive to continue accelerating control agenda to reach elimination by delivering innovative solutions to the most vulnerable" she added.
In the context of the Malaria Day events, the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, delegates took the opportunity for additional meetings and dialogues with local experts and community, confirming the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's engagement to global health.
Reference: Press Release at www.emdgroup.com/en/news/malaria-prevention-ghana-06-06-2018.html