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About 3.3 billion people — half of the world's population — are at risk of contracting malaria. Every year, this leads to about 250 million malaria cases and nearly one million deaths. One in five (20 percent) childhood deaths in Africa is caused by malaria — every 30 seconds an African child dies from this disease.1
Pfizer has dedicated itself to a platform of innovative, socially responsible, and commercially viable activities to help close the malaria treatment gap in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The platform features four core elements:
Manufacturing and delivering effective anti-malaria treatments in Africa
Pfizer has an existing portfolio of essential anti-malarials. To deliver these medicines, Pfizer is uniquely positioned on the continent given its long-standing manufacturing presence in Dakar, Senegal. With its 25-year history in malaria, Pfizer's Dakar facility not only has manufacturing capability for malaria products but unparalleled distribution capacity for medicines on the continent.
Investing in R&D to develop urgently needed medicines
Despite promising progress made, an urgent need remains for new effective treatments to prevent the spread of resistance. Pfizer is investing in R&D from early discovery to late-stage development. The combination of azithromycin (AZ) and chloroquine (CQ) has demonstrated efficacy in two clinical trials for the treatment of malaria. In consultation with stakeholders globally, Pfizer has identified a great need for this combination for Intermittent Preventive Therapy in pregnant women (IPTp). Pfizer collaborates with the WHO and its Special Programme for Research in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR) to target malaria and other neglected tropical diseases. In April 2009, Pfizer and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) signed an agreement which gives MMV access to Pfizer's vast chemical compound library in order to test approximately 200,000 compounds for activity against P. falciparum. Such public-private research partnerships are vital to overcoming the health challenges of developing countries.
Engaging and educating treatment providers and patients to improve the prompt and effective treatment for malaria
Pfizer partners with leading NGOs to find promising interventions that improve the utilization and effectiveness of malaria treatment. At the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative, Pfizer announced a five-year program (2007-2012), Mobilize Against Malaria, focused on improving access to prompt and effective treatment, on preventing infection and the spread of malaria by improving symptom recognition, treatment, and referral through local grassroots training, education and awareness.
1 WHO, 10 Facts on Malaria — updated March 2009
2 For medical trade press: Eurartesim™