World Malaria Day 2020 | Eliminating Malaria & Preventing COVID-19, Zero Malaria Starts with Me

Release time:2020-06-03 14:58
(April 25 2020, Shanghai) On World Malaria Day 2020, countries across the world are trying to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, African countries are facing additional challenges from other infectious diseases, of which malaria is one of the most devastating.

In 2018, there were an estimated 228 million cases of malaria worldwide, and the estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 405,000. The Africa region, especially sub-Saharan Africa, carries by far the largest burden of the disease, with 93% of all global cases and 94% of the deaths. Since 2000, the international community has stepped up their efforts in malaria prevention and control to reduce the high disease and death toll of malaria. With the roll-out of artemisinin combination therapies and the wide deployment of other measures, the global number of malaria deaths has declined by 45% between 2000 and 2018, from 743,000 per year to 403,000 per year. (Source: WHO Website)

However, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought uncertainty to malaria prevention and control in sub-Saharan African countries. On World Malaria Day 2020, WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria in promoting "Zero Malaria Starts with Me", a campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care. To ensure that malaria prevention and control measures are carried out smoothly during the fight against COVID-19, WHO makes an appeal to African countries not to scale back their scheduled malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment activities. The aim is to lower malaria-related mobidity and mortality, while assuring that all interventions must consider the importance of both lowering malaria-related mortality and ensuring the safety of communities and health workers.

As a member of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Fosun Pharma actively responds to the call of WHO and helps to ensure stable global supply of antimalarial drugs. Through its continuous innovation activities, Fosun Pharma continues to provide innovative treatment options for malaria patients. At at the end of 2019, Fosun Pharma’s antimalarial portfolio contained 19 antimalarial drugs approved by the WHO Prequalification of Medicine Programme. Among these products, Artesun® (Artesunate for injection), the first-line drug for severe malaria produced by Fosun Pharma, is estimated to have treated more than 24 million malaria patients’ life.

On this year’s World Malaria Day, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Fosun Pharma announces that it will join forces with its Africa business unit Tridem Pharma to donate through Shanghai Fosun Foundation around USD200000 worth of virus prevention materials to eight African countries through their Ministry of Health, including Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The donation package comprises of 200,000 surgical masks, 1,400 forehead thermometers, and 115,000 pairs of medical gloves. The materials are intended to be used by front-line healthcare workers in these countries to protect themselves. Fosun Pharma hopes that the provision of these materials will help to alleviate the burden on local health system, which can then support the country to reach their malaria prevention and control targets.

To support African medical institutions and healthcare professionals in their response to the novel coronavirus epidemic, Shanghai Fosun Foundation, partnering with People's Daily Health platform(人民日报健康客户端) and the Health Times(健康时报) organize an "eCME on COVID-19 Case Management" on April 28. This academic webinar will invite four renowned Chinese and international clinical experts, who have engaged in the fight against COVID-19, to share their experience and provide updates on clinical research, and to interact with healthcare professionals in Africa. The event will focus on the management of COVID-19 in resource-limited healthcare facilities, which is relevant for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.