As a business with major African oil and gas exploration and production, retail marketing and distribution activities, ExxonMobil has long been aware of the devastating impact of malaria on the continent.
"We established our Africa Health Initiative in 2000 because we strongly believe that improvements in public health can be a basis for broader economic and social gains.
“Since then we have dedicated more than $11,5-million to community activities related to the prevention, control and treatment of malaria in Africa," said president Rex Tillerson.
The public-private partnerships announced today specifically focus on vaccine development and supporting African health practitioners and researchers in their efforts to prevent, diagnose, treat and control malaria.
"Malaria is a disease that is preventable, treatable and curable, yet kills one million people every year. Grants for training and research, such as those announced today, are core to our strategy to find long-term solutions and help communities help themselves," said manager of Global Community Relations Susan Carter.
The Academic Alliance Foundation has received $500 000 to support the development of a malaria program within the curriculum of the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
The Institute runs a variety of teaching programs, training pan-African health-care providers with the latest tools and techniques to deliver high quality care in the area of infectious diseases and have the capability to train others.
"This grant will enable us to vastly expand our infectious diseases training activities," said AAF president Dr Merle Sande.
"By providing expertise to local scientists and physicians, who promote the development of new, innovative and practical interventions to prevent, treat and control the malaria epidemic, ExxonMobil's partnership with AAF focuses on building the next generation of medical leadership in sub-Saharan Africa.”
The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative has received $500 000 to support advocacy for malaria vaccine development, a malaria vaccine technology roadmap, and malaria vaccine market assessment.
The MVI exists to help ensure that there will be a malaria vaccine in the shortest timeframe possible. Its mission is to accelerate the development of promising vaccines and ensure their availability and accessibility to the developing world. "The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) is focused on moving vaccine candidates rapidly through the development pipeline.
“ExxonMobil's funding, together with that of our other partners, helps to ensure the necessary investment in research and development critical to finding a vaccine to help end deaths from malaria," noted MVI director Dr Melinda Moree.
The World Health Organization Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases has received $500 000.
TDR, the training and capacity building arm of the Multilateral Initiative for Malaria, will use these funds to help foster the development of human resources and research infrastructure for fighting malaria in Africa.
"Research is critical not only to developing new tools, but to identifying the most effective ways to implement current treatments," says TDR director Dr Robert Ridley.
"ExxonMobil's support will allow us to expand our collaboration with the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria on research to inform anti-malarial drug policies, effective use of insecticide-treated bed nets and research and development into new control tools so critically needed in Africa.”