Novartis (NVS) announced today that two million treatments of its pediatric antimalarial are arriving in Zambia thanks to the ongoing efforts of the company in collaboration with Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. Zambia is the first beneficiary country of this campaign sponsored by Novartis. One million treatments of Coartem® Dispersible have been funded through public donations and Novartis matched these with a further one million treatments. These antimalarials will reduce the disease burden in Zambia, which accounts for up to 40% of infant mortality in that country (2).
“Although the incidence of malaria has decreased, the disease still kills a child every minute in Africa,” said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. “Our commitment to Power of One reflects our company’s long-term efforts to fight malaria and Novartis remains dedicated to controlling and ultimately eliminating this deadly disease.”
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. This fatal disease has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a priority area of public health. This year’s World Health Day focuses on vector-borne diseases, and malaria is the most deadly (3).
The campaign, which launched to the public in September 2013, uses social, mobile, and e-commerce technologies, enabling the public to purchase treatments for children in Zambia. Donors are able to share information with their social networks and encourage friends to donate.
“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,” said Martin Edlund, CEO, Malaria No More. “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.”
Novartis is supporting the campaign financially and has pledged to match up to 1 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, help communities deliver better healthcare and has invested in research and development into the next generation of antimalarials. Since 2009, Novartis has delivered over 600 million treatments, of which more than 200 million were treatments developed specifically for children, without profit to malaria-endemic countries. Never before have so many pediatric treatments been distributed in such a short timeframe to children suffering from malaria.