News Feature | April 9, 2014

Novartis And MNM Provide 2 Million Anti-Malarial Drugs In Zambia

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Novartis announced that two million units of its pediatric anti-malarial drug have been shipped to Zambia as part of ongoing efforts to eradicate the disease under its collaboration with Malaria No More (MNM) and its campaign Power of One. Zambia is the first country to be the campaign’s beneficiary.

One million Coartem Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine) treatments against malaria were funded through public donations, which Novartis then matched with another million treatments. The anti-malarial artemisinin-based dispersible combination therapy (ACT) tablets are expected to reduce the disease burden in the country. Malaria is responsible for up to 40 percent of infant mortality in Zambia.

Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, said, “Although the incidence of malaria has decreased, the disease still kills a child every minute in Africa. 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.”

The Power of One is a global digital fundraising campaign against malaria, a largely preventable and treatable disease. The campaign was publicly launched in September 2013 using digital technology. Donors were allowed to purchase malaria treatments for Zambian children and share the campaign on their social networks.

Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More, said, “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. 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.”

The company is supporting the Power of One campaign financially and through its Novartis Malaria Initiative. Novartis has delivered more than 600 million treatments without profit to malaria endemic countries since 2009. Over 200 million of the treatments were developed specifically for children suffering from malaria.