Here’s a shocking statistic: In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria around the world, and 445,000 people died from it. Malaria kills a child under the age of five every two minutes. As a family company and parents ourselves, we just can’t live with that.
That’s why we work every day to that can carry diseases like malaria. We opened our first insect research center back in 1957. Today, the is one of the largest private, urban entomology research centers in the world.
But reducing malaria and other diseases isn’t just about the root cause. It’s also about access to health care for treatment when needed. That’s why in 2018, SC Johnson began a new partnership with the Rwanda Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health to increase health care access.
Together, we’re building 10 new health posts across Rwanda to help address malaria and other public health issues.
With our partners, SC Johnson is co-developing a national strategy to address public health issues in Rwanda, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, family planning, access to clean water and nutrition.
Key to this plan are the new health posts SC Johnson is helping build. Right now, someone in rural Rwanda might have to walk up to three hours to reach health care support. Imagine what a challenge that is when you’re already feeling ill.
With this collaboration, the idea is to bring together private, academic and health care leaders to build a stronger, more connected health system. The health posts will be managed by the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health, with collaboration from SC Johnson.
Announcing the news, Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister of Health, explained, “The ten health posts will help us to bring much-needed health care closer to the most vulnerable communities. This will help to improve family health overall and immediately address health care challenges, like malaria, across the country.”
To tackle malaria specifically, this partnership also includes developing country-wide national standards to address mosquito-borne diseases and set safety and efficacy standards for pest products. Studies have shown that spatial repellents can reduce the frequency of biting and may reduce new malaria occurrences.
The intent over four years is to increase access to and proper use of spatial and personal insect repellents, and encourage behavior changes that help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease. This is an ongoing goal for SC Johnson, which the company also tackles through its educational mosquito website with tips in 14 languages.
As our Chairman and CEO, Fisk Johnson, explained when announcing the effort, "With this public-private partnership, we can help the Rwanda Ministry of Health improve access to health care and tackle some of the existing health challenges, including malaria, to better serve local communities. SC Johnson is a leader in insect research and we are dedicated to helping protect the wellness of people particularly from insect-borne disease.”