Novartis launches campaign against Malaria in Zambia

Joseph Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novartis

Joseph Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novartis

Novartis a Swtizland based company announced today the debut of the Power of One campaign, encouraging people around the world to help end child deaths from malaria.

The organization will support the campaign financially and donate up to three million Coartem® Dispersible treatments to match anti-malaria funded by the public.

The company’s commitment to Power of One aligns with its long history in the fight against malaria; the Novartis Malaria Initiative is one of the largest access-to-medicine programs in the healthcare industry.

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, but it still kills a child every minute. It is estimated that 436 million additional treatments will be needed to treat malaria patients across Africa between now and the end of 2015.

The Power of One campaign aims to address this treatment gap through direct donations and existing government commitments. Every dollar donated to the campaign will buy and deliver a treatment to a child diagnosed with malaria.

“I am proud of the significant and longstanding commitment Novartis has to the fight against malaria. For all our progress though, there’s still more work to do” said Joseph Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novartis. “We need more help to close the treatment gap and Power of One offers everyone a chance to engage and make a difference for children suffering from malaria.”

Harnessing social, mobile, and e-commerce technologies, Power of One enables the public to purchase a treatment and track the journey of a treatment. Donors will be able to see the effect of their donation on the ground, share information with their networks and recruit other donors.

“It’s unacceptable that a child dies every minute for lack of a dollar’s worth of treatment,” said Martin Edlund, CEO, Malaria No More. “We’re urging the world to join the Power of One campaign and to donate and engage their friends in this fight.”

Novartis is the exclusive treatment sponsor of the Power of One campaign, joining some of the world’s most innovative companies. Additional sponsors include Alere Inc., which will provide malaria rapid diagnostic tests, 21st Century Fox, AHAlife.com, Causes.com, Time Warner, Twitter, Venmo and others.

Dr. Nathan Mulure - Africa Operations Manager Novartis Malaria Initiatives during launching the campaign in Lusaka

Dr. Nathan Mulure – Africa Operations Manager Novartis Malaria Initiatives during launching the campaign in Lusaka

Novartis Pharma Services Manager for Africa Operations, Malaria Initiatives Dr. Nathan Mulure said this during a breakfast meeting in Lusaka where government and other stakeholders in the health sector were represented. He said it is estimated that over 300 million additional treatments will be needed to treat malaria patients across Africa between now and the end of 2015.

Dr. Mulure said every dollar donated to the campaign will buy and deliver a treatment kit  to a child diagnosed with malaria.He noted that Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease but kills a child every minute which he said should be addressed. Zambia will be the first country to receive deliveries of treatments and tests as a result of the Power of One campaign.

Since 2009, Novartis has delivered 200 million treatments of its pediatric antimalarial Coartem® Dispersible without profit to more than 50 malaria-endemic countries. Never before have so many pediatric treatments been distributed in such a short time frame for children suffering from malaria.

The 200 millionth treatment was delivered to Zambia, which also received the first consignment of Novartis treatments for the Power of One campaign, raised during World Malaria Day on April 25, 2013.

“MMV applauds Novartis on this laudable achievement,” said David Reddy, CEO of Medicines for Malaria Venture. “Novartis has done a tremendous job of bringing an innovative drug to the vulnerable young victims of malaria in Zambia and over 50 other countries, giving it global reach. We at MMV are proud to have partnered with Novartis on the development of this important formulation.”

The Zambian government is happy with the campaign saying the country has already began benefiting from the programme under which 200,000 malaria rapid diagnostic tests, 200,000 treatment courses were received among other things.

Dr Christine Manyando, Tropical Disease Research Center, Ndola, Zambia during the launch in Lusaka

Dr Christine Manyando, Tropical Disease Research Center, Ndola, Zambia during the launch in Lusaka

Ministry of Health Deputy Director for Public Health and Research-Malaria Dr. Mulakwa Kamuliwo revealed that the Zambian government has received about US$ 24 million funding from donors for malaria programmes where 5.6 treated mosquito nets will be procured and distributed in 2014.

She said besides donor funds, government has set aside about US$24million for the procurement of anti-malaria medicines and 200,000 treated mosquito nets.

The Novartis Malaria Initiative is one of the largest access-to-medicine programs in the healthcare industry. Moving forward, Novartis is committed to malaria elimination by driving the development of the next generation antimalarials, with two new classes of anti-malaria drugs currently in development. The most advanced compound is in Phase II clinical trials.