Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis announced in April that two-million of its paediatric antimalarial treatment had arrived in Zambia, owing to the ongoing efforts of the com- pany and its collaboration with nonprofit organisation Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign.
According to the organisation’s website, “Malaria kills a child every minute, but Power of One lets you stop the clock by donating one dollar to provide a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa”
“Power of One is resonating with the general public, and their donations will help us ensure that children in Zambia will have access to the treatment they need,” it adds.
The campaign, which launched to the public in September 2013, uses social, mobile and elec- tronic-commerce technologies, enabling the public to buy treatments for children in Zambia. Donors are able to share information with their social networks and encourage friends to donate.
Zambia is the first beneficiary country of this campaign sponsored by Novartis. One-million treatments of the child-friendly artemisinin combination drug for malaria, Coartem Dispersible, have been funded through public donations and Novartis matched these with a further one-million treatments. Further, they will be supplied to other countries through established distribution channels of African governments and leading international partners.
These antimalarials will reduce the disease burden in Zambia, where the disease accounts for up to 40% of infant mortality.
“One-and-a-half-million treatments are already on the ground in Zambia, thanks to the Power of One campaign, with a further 500 000 anticipated in the coming weeks,” says Malaria No More CEO Martin Edlund.
“Power of One is resonating with the general public, and their donations will help us ensure that children in Zambia have access to the treatment they need,” he adds.
Novartis is supporting the campaign financially and has pledged to match up to one-million treatments funded by the public every year through 2015. For more than a decade, the Novartis Malaria Initiative has worked to improve access to treatment, helped communities deliver better healthcare and has invested in research and development into the next generation of antimalarials.
“Although the incidence of malaria has decreased, the disease still kills a child every minute in Africa,” says Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez.
“The company’s commitment to the campaign reflects its long-term efforts to fight malaria and Novartis remains dedicated to controlling and ultimately eliminating this deadly disease,” he adds.
Power of One is a global digital fundraising campaign that enables people around the world to help end child deaths from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease.
The fatal disease has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as a public health priority. This year’s World Health Day, on April 7, focused on vector-borne diseases, of which malaria is the most deadly.