JHU∙CCP’s Voices III: Malaria Powerbrokers project has demonstrated that the private sector is a necessary partner in the fight against malaria. Voices III, a two-year, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project, seeks to mobilize political and popular support for malaria control with the help of public and private sector leaders. Recent efforts in Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda demonstrate the need for broad alliances if Voices ambitious goals are to be met.
Voices organizes summit to support affordable medicine facility in Ghana
Collaborating with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the National Malaria Control Program of Ghana, Voices organized a meeting of international pharmaceutical representatives to promote and support the continued distribution of affordable and quality artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in Ghana. A first-line drug against malaria, ACTs are currently subsidized by up to 80% by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through the Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria (AMFm), but funding for the program beyond 2012 is uncertain. The April meeting unified advocacy efforts among partners to waive taxes and tariffs on ACTs, seek greater public and private sector resources for drugs and appeal to pharmaceuticals to encourage continued support for AMFm.
South African private sector fights malaria across Africa
Voices and United Against Malaria partners are collaborating to ensure that World Malaria Day in South Africa, a nation largely free of malaria, raises awareness and support for malaria control throughout the rest of Africa, where 90% of all malaria deaths occur. Cape Union Mart, an outdoor goods retailer based in Cape Town, aims to sell 50,000 UAM bracelets before World Malaria Day, an effort that will raise $50,000 for bednets in endemic countries. Adventurer and humanitarian Kingsley Holgate will deliver many of these nets in an upcoming expedition in East Africa, while SuperSport, an African broadcasting company, will feature important malaria messaging during a popular weeknight television show aired throughout the continent.
Malaria Safe companies support health clinics in Tanzania
During the week of World Malaria Day, two Voices partners in Tanzania will promote malaria prevention and treatment services for their employees and customers with support from the National Malaria Control Program of Tanzania and Voices, whose Malaria Safe program encourages workplace initiatives. Stanbic Bank will sponsor free malaria testing at four hospitals, help fill critical supply gaps of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and educate employees via email and company billboards. Said Salim Bakhresa (SSB), a multinational flour mill, will supply anti-malarial medicine for pregnant women and free testing for staff and employees at several clinics; in an area without a clinic, the company will also provide free bednets for pregnant women.
Private sector pools resources to fight malaria in Uganda
Voices recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) to develop a common fund to address critical health care needs affecting vulnerable groups in Uganda, such as children under 5 years and women of reproductive age. Through contributions from PSFU’s 140 member companies, this Private Sector Health Common Fund (PSHCF) will support interventions in malaria, nutrition, water and sanitation, among other critical health areas. Uganda’s Ministry of Health and Voices will provide technical guidance on how some of these funds can be used to control and eliminate malaria.
Learn more about Voices III: Malaria Powerbrokers.