Lyon (France), April 25th, 2016 – On the occasion of World Malaria Day, Bayer welcomes the recent progress made towards eliminating malaria worldwide. The decrease in incidence of malaria by 37% between 2000 and 2015 and in global death rates from malaria by 48% highlighted in the 2015 WHO malaria report is a strong and meaningful source of encouragement for the main actors in this fight. The integrated approach taken over the past years towards malaria, which includes preventive measures such as vector control along with accurate diagnosis and treatment of cases, has been instrumental in obtaining great success in the fight against malaria.
In this context, vector control has played an enormous role to restrict malaria transmission, with malaria control intervention resulting in 663 million malaria cases averted between 2001 and 2015. Out of these 663 million cases, nearly 80% of the cases averted were due to vector control interventions. Both the distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaigns contribute to these results.
The latter, which consists of applying a residual deposit of an insecticide on indoor surfaces where mosquitoes rest, aims at reducing their lifespan and thereby reducing or interrupting disease transmission.IRS has grown in importance in recent years due to the threat of insecticide resistance.“We are very happy to play our part in improving the health and quality of life of communities in malaria-endemic countries; we have been developing and supplying vector control solutions and been active on the ground supporting vector control programs for the past 50 years”, says Justin McBeath, Market Segment Manager – Malaria Vector Control at Bayer. “But we are very much focused on the future, particularly given the challenge of insecticide resistance. It will take the commitment of many different stakeholders, investment into innovation and a continued integrated approach to ensure that the progress achieved in malaria control since the 2000s is not put at risk”.
The maintained engagement of the whole malaria community is indeed key to achieve elimination. The commitment of Bayer is well illustrated in our ongoing investment into the development of solutions to help address insecticide resistance. To this end, Bayer’s innovation projects in vector control are focused on options with long-term viability. “We are currently developing the first insecticide mixture for indoor residual spraying, called Fludora™ Fusion, which will also include a new mode of action not yet present in malaria vector control” adds Justin McBeath. “We also work with development partners such as towards the goal of developing completely new active ingredients for vector control. We are also involved in initiatives on the ground in various malaria-endemic countries, supporting capacity building and community awareness”.
Bayer’s 50 years of expertise in vector-borne-diseases will be used to support other emerging challenges – notably sudden outbreaks of Zika or dengue diseases. Bayer delivers on its mission, Science for a Better Life, by harnessing the power of science to improve the quality of human, animal and plant health.
Together with public and private partners, Bayer provides an integrated, 360° approach to vector control – with sustainable solutions that include a diverse product range, global and local expertise, training and education; as we believe the major global challenges we face today, including mosquito-borne diseases, are simply too big for any one organization, government, company or research institute to manage alone.