How we experience food changes in the summer. From picnics and county fairs to ballgames and backyard barbeques, the state of the plate literally transforms from ceramic to paper as we relish time eating outdoors.
Enduring a few nuisance ants and mosquitos is a small price to pay to soak in warm days and soft light lasting well into the evening. The itch of mosquito bites is short-lived and soon forgotten. At least that’s the story for most of us.
For others, the bite of a single mosquito is not a short-lived nuisance. It’s the source of a devastating and life threatening disease. Malaria.
Those of us in the heart of farm country are lucky. Malaria has been successfully eradicated from United States and many other countries around the world (but don’t take that for granted—it could come back).
In some ninety-one other countries, most of which are in Africa, malaria has a devastating effect on health, prosperity and economic development. Statistics from the World Health Organization’s 2016 World Malaria Report are stark.
212 million new cases of malaria. 429,000 deaths (that’s more than 1,175 every day), two-thirds of which were children. A leading cause of poverty and economic despair. A reason to fear rather than enjoy a simple picnic.
But malaria is preventable. And some of the same agricultural groups that help ensure there’s an abundance of food for our summer barbeques, state fairs and company cookouts are lending their expertise to help protect those at greatest risk. Here’s how.
Historically, the most successful way to prevent malaria is through vector control. In other words, killing mosquitos. And the best source for new public health insecticides are active ingredients developed from the libraries of major agrichemical companies.
Why are new classes of insecticides needed? Because in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is endemic, mosquitos are becoming resistant to pyrethroids and the other primary classes of insecticides used against them.
Working in partnership with the not-for-profit organization Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), companies including Bayer, BASF, Syngenta and others are advancing the development of novel insecticide classes to help prevent—and ultimately eradicate—malaria.
Public health insecticides are not a lucrative business opportunity for agrochemical companies. Far from it, actually. These quiet investments to help prevent malaria reflect commitments to corporate social responsibility. Applying resources, knowledge and expertise to solve problems for the common good. And that’s worth noting. For African families and ours. Because while there’s no present risk of malaria for many of us, mosquito species evolve and present new threats that are close to home, as evidenced by Zika.
C|O is proud to work with IVCC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It's a natural extension of our strategic marketing communications work across the food system.
We’d like to hear your story. Contact Mark Gale at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 262.563.5129.