The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is leading the global malaria community in celebrating the milestone of 2 billion insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) delivered worldwide since 2004. The development and scale up of these nets are responsible for 68% of the malaria cases prevented in Africa since 2000, contributing to global efforts that saved more than 7 million lives and prevented more than 1 billion malaria cases.
A new video highlights the global collaboration it took to boost funding, pioneer, produce, and deliver the insecticide-treated mosquito nets to millions of families around the world living at risk of malaria, a preventable disease that kills a child every 2 minutes. The film follows the journey of one of the nets passed among representatives from the global malaria community including advocates, a scientist, global leaders and malaria-endemic country health workers to reach a family in Nampula, Mozambique – one of 5 countries with the highest burden of malaria. It also features a classroom of young women in Nyanza Province, Kenya, including Clementina Akinyi. Ms Akinyi, now in her last year of high school, grew up sleeping under insecticide-treated nets, and was photographed as a young child under a mosquito net – an image which became iconic for the fight against malaria.
According to the latest World Malaria Report, between 2010 and 2018, the number of pregnant women and children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa who slept under an insecticide-treated net more than doubled, up from 26% to 61%. Key initiatives driving this progress include The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), which purchased and worked with malaria-endemic countries and partners to distribute 1.13 billion and 400 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets, respectively. Many other governments, notably the UK, and organisations, including UNICEF, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the World Bank, the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets initiative and Against Malaria Foundation, also made significant contributions to the 2 billion net milestone.
While current evidence suggests that nets treated with pyrethroid insecticides continue to be effective against the mosquito, resistance to pyrethroids – the only insecticide class currently used in ITNs – is widespread and highest in the WHO African Region. To combat insecticide resistance, partners are developing, testing and scaling up nets with new insecticide combinations and harnessing data to better target where to distribute current and new nets. At IVCC, we are leading the implementation of the New Nets Project which began in 2019 in Burkina Faso and will expand in 2020 to Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria and Rwanda. The pilot project is funded by Unitaid and the Global Fund. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. Agency for International Development are providing supplementary funding. And, in October 2019, MedAccess and the foundation announced an agreement with a mosquito net manufacturer to accelerate the availability of 35 million new nets. Ultimately the project and its partners seek to not only establish the necessary evidence base needed to support an appropriate policy recommendation, but to also make the new nets a sustainable choice for countries looking for the best value for money in controlling malaria.
“The milestone of delivering 2 billion life-saving nets is a hallmark example of effective global partnership and sustained commitment over the past two decades. As we enter a new decade, we must now step up action to meet the ambitious global targets of further reducing malaria deaths and cases significantly by 2030. Political commitment and engagement from all levels of society will be crucial to ensure we reach those most vulnerable – pregnant women and children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa – who still suffer from malaria with life-saving mosquito nets. Equally, we need to continue investing in developing, testing and scaling up nets with new insecticides and active ingredients to stay ahead of the evolving mosquito.”
Dr Abdourahmane Diallo
CEO, RBM Partnership to End Malaria
Notes to Editors
To arrange an interview with a representative for an organisation referenced in this press release, please contact the RBM Partnership press office at Grayling on RBMPartnership@grayling.com or call +44 (0)20 3861 3747.
This video marking the announcement is available for media outlets to use and share, with credit to the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. Pre-recorded interviews with the below spokespeople and case studies are also available on request.
- Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO, RBM Partnership to End Malaria*
- Marijke Wijnroks, Chief of Staff, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria*
- Kajal Patel, global advocate for malaria and malaria survivor*
- Dr Ellie Sherrard-Smith, Research Associate, Imperial College London*
- Clementina Akinyi, anti-malaria mosquito net champion
*Also available for further comment
To support this major milestone for global health and to engage in the celebration online, social media users can use #EndMalaria and #zeromalariastartswithme.
About the RBM Partnership to End Malaria
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria. Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in 1998, it mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions. www.endmalaria.org
IVCC is the only Product Development Partnership (PDP) working in vector control. IVCC was established in 2005, through a $50million grant to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is a registered charity in the UK. We work with stakeholders to facilitate the development of novel and improved public health insecticides and formulations to combat the rapidly growing problem of insecticide resistance. We bring together partners from industry, the public sector and academia to create new solutions to prevent disease transmission. By focusing resources and targeting practical scientific solutions we accelerate the process from innovation to impact.