According to the World Health Organisation, almost half a million people die from malaria each year, and that number could rise due to increased immunity to pesticides.
In response to this, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BASF, German chemical company, MedAccess have come together to bring mosquito nets to countries affected by malaria. Facilitating the supply of 35 million Interceptor® G2 mosquito nets, they hope to assist The Global Fund in their bid to meet its 14 billion US goal to continue its fight against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“Most mosquito nets have one insecticide, and this one has two, which means that the mosquito is hit from two different directions with two different modalities of operation and that's what makes the difference,” explains Michael Anderson, the CEO of MedAccess, a UK-based company that supports projects worldwide to “achieve global health goals.”
It’s easier for a mosquito to grow and develop a resistance to one active ingredient, but two? It’s much more difficult. The addition of a new ingredient, Interceptor G2 is “widely used on crops, used for killing insects in households,” and has been in circulation since the 1960s says Anderson. “that’s why we think this net is going to last for some time,” he adds. “They’ve been tested many times, and the testing shows really strong resilience. But we'll have to see in the field what actually happens.”
However, in areas where malaria is more prevalent, the climate is normally humid, the moisture contributing to a shorter life span for these new nets. While governments alone can’t bear the sky-high costs of net maintenance, together BASF, MedAccess, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation can.
Africa accounts for 90% of the disease’s deaths. Not only is it fatal, malaria has disrupted education and economies, as well as contributing to global poverty. “For half the world’s population, every day is a fight against malaria,” says Saori Dubourg, member of the BASF board of directors. “Malaria is preventable and treatable, yet it still causes the death of a child under five years old every two minutes. This agreement will ensure that this innovative new net technology gets to those regions where it is most needed and saves lives.”