From prevention to treatment: our impact
Amsterdam, 25 April 2023 – On this World Malaria Day, we would like to highlight our impact in the battle against malaria. Malaria is a severe illness caused by the Plasmodium parasite and transmitted through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The latest World Malaria Report indicates that there were 247 million malaria cases in 2021, slightly higher than the 245 million cases recorded in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions that led to approximately 13 million more malaria cases and 63,000 more malaria-related deaths during the two peak years of the pandemic (Source: WHO).
The majority of the global malaria burden is borne by the WHO African Region, accounting for 95% of all malaria cases and 96% of all malaria deaths in 2021. Alarmingly, 80% of all malaria deaths in the African region were among children under the age of five. Only four African countries, namely Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, and Niger, accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths globally (Source: WHO).
As global supplier of essential malaria products, and as procurement agent for the Global Fund’s PPM Vector Control programme, IDA is part of a global ecosystem dedicated to help achieve a malaria-free world. Together with other partners we ensure access to essential products in the fight against malaria. In 2021 we shipped 146 million ITNs (Insecticide-Treated bed Nets) to 34 countries worldwide, making us one of the largest suppliers of preventive measures against malaria. Besides ITNs, we also supply IRS (Indoor Residual Spray), diagnostic tests, and a variety of antimalarial medicines.
Prevention and treatment
Both prevention and treatment of malaria infection are critical components in the fight against malaria and are essential for its eradication. Malaria can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites or by taking medicines. Prevention measures also include the use of ITNs and deployment of IRS, which both fall under Vector Control. Treatment on the other hand, involves the use of antimalarial medicines to cure the infection and simultaneously prevent its transmission. The use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is currently the most effective treatment for malaria and has contributed significantly to reducing the global malaria burden. Timely and effective treatment can prevent severe illness and death, particularly in vulnerable populations such as young children, pregnant women, and people with HIV or AIDS.
In summary, the prevention and treatment of malaria are crucial components in the eradication of the disease. IDA is contributing by ensuring our customers in our target countries have access to these essential products as part of our goal to achieve Universal Health Coverage.