The Family Home Blog

Partnering to Make Progress on Malaria

Apr 15, 2015
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Tom Putzer
Researcher, Base of the Pyramid Group at SC Johnson

Meeting with the Myanmar Ministry of Health 

The Ministry of Health is one of many partners in the global public health channels that we partner with to ensure we achieve our ongoing goal of malaria eradication, in Myanmar and beyond. Our BoP team recently spent time with the Myanmar Ministry of Health to get their perspective on what would best serve their citizens.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria is a leading cause of deaths in children under five in Myanmar. Over 60 percent of Myanmar's 51 million citizens live in malaria-endemic areas, many of them migrants and people in hard-to-reach rural areas. And throughout much of Myanmar there is still limited access to quality efficacious tools to address malaria.

A common malaria-treatment drug, artemisinin, typically clears the body of malaria parasites within a day. And today in Myanmar, midwives and community health workers are seeing that it is taking several days for artemisinin to work, or it’s not working at all. The past serves as a predictor of our future here. Over the past 100 years, most first-line antimalarial drugs have eventually been rendered ineffective because of resistant parasites found in Myanmar and other countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion. These parasites eventually spread west beyond Myanmar through Bangladesh, India, and eventually to Sub-Saharan Africa. This ultimately leads to the resurgence of malaria. And we are at risk of this happening again.

The difference now is that we don’t have another effective drug waiting to replace artemisinin.

So national and local governments in Myanmar are exploring tools specifically to prevent the transmission of malaria. And that’s exactly what our BOP team does – develop tools to prevent malaria transmission based on the priorities of the people that live with it. They want to ensure they lead healthy lives, and they recognize the need for malaria eradication and prevention to help achieve this.

Pictured: Team members from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and SC Johnson meet with the Myanmar Ministry of Health.

Check out pix from our trips around the world as we work on programs and products to help malaria prevention. We're on Instagram at www.instagram.com/SCJBetterLives.

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On Monday, April 20, 2015, Chuck from Wisconsin wrote

Keep up the good work on educating and helping to develop tools to prevent the spread of malaria and hopefully malaria eradication. The world needs more like you!

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