Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Call for Private Sector Involvement in Malaria Efforts

Public-private partnerships have been all the rage, here are two recent articles on that front. The first is an opinion piece calling for more private sector involvement and the second is a demonstration of using private businesses to distribute insecticide resistant mosquito nets.

Increased innovation needed in the fight against epidemics , Jan 11, 2007

In a Jan. 1 editorial, the P-I rightly pointed to the need for partnerships to address global health challenges and meet goals to reduce disease and death. However, the editorial overlooked the integral role of the private sector in developing new solutions to fight epidemics… “The only way to win the war against malaria is to find new and even more effective ways to prevent infection and treat those who are sick. That includes the development of new drugs and diagnostics, as well as a malaria vaccine that has the potential to offer widespread protection against the disease… While the research that will fuel new tools is often found in academia and in the government sector, we need the involvement of industry — namely pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies — to turn research into life-saving products.”

Public-Private Cooperation Helps Fight Malaria, Jan 18, 2007

Dr. David McGuire is the director of USAID’s NetMark Project, which promotes the use of bed nets and helps African businesses distribute them.  He says NetMark is partnered with nearly 40 companies in eight countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe), which in turn sell more than 15 brands of ITNs…Health experts say there are many advantages to such private-public partnerships; donors are able to stretch their dollars by taking advantage of the private sector’s efficient distribution network, stimulate the local business community in high unemployment areas, and create competition among venders to keep prices low…The involvement of the private sector has also led to the creation of Africa-based factories, including several in Tanzania, that can manufacture the nets, rather than relying on imports.

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Written by Aman

January 23, 2007 at 8:16 am

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