Thanks Wolf and Martha. Great Sports.
I’m Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More. Tonight we transport you to India.
Whether you realize it or not, many of you have already taken your malaria treatment during the cocktail hour in the form of gin and tonics – arguably the greatest ever innovation to get people to take their medicine.
And it was invented in India.
We gather tonight at a moment of great opportunity and tremendous challenge for the malaria campaign. Over the past decade, thanks to the efforts of so many in this room, we’ve celebrated truly historic progress—included 7 million lives saved and 1.3 billion malaria cases averted. Give yourselves a hand.
But for the first time since Malaria No More began, malaria cases are on the rise. We must be even more ambitious and more creative to meet this challenge.
For those of you that don’t know much about Malaria No More, we are focused on mobilizing the political will, the financing, and the innovation required to end malaria within our generation.
We won’t stop until we live in a world where no child dies from a mosquito bite.
Let me begin share just a few examples of what Malaria No More, its partners and supporters, have accomplished in the past year alone.
At this time last year, we were just figuring out how to work with a New Administration. The US Government is the largest funder for malaria, so continued US leadership is essential to achieving our mission.
We’re proud to report that, in the past year, we’ve been able to secure and sustain an 81 million dollar increase in funding for the US President’s Malaria Initiative, or PMI, a program which New York Times Columnist Nick Kristof has called “one of the best programs that no one has ever heard of.”
This funding has enabled the US government to expand its malaria interventions to 5 new countries in Africa, protecting an additional 90 million people from malaria.
Join me in congratulating PMI on its continued success.
Malaria No More is also helping to eliminate malaria closer to home.
In the past year, Malaria No More worked with the Inter-American Development Bank to create a one hundred and eighty million dollar finance facility that will provide the funding and capacity to eliminate malaria in the Caribbean and across Central America. This will be the next region to end malaria, and it can happen in the next 5 years.
Finally, Just last month, our colleagues at Malaria No More UK organized a Summit in London that announced $4.1b in new commitments for malaria.
53 Commonwealth heads of state pledged to reduce the malaria burden by half in the next five years,
if achieved, that which would prevent 350 million cases of malaria and save an additional 650 thousand lives.
These are big numbers. But it is your support of our small but mighty teams in the US, UK, Japan, across Africa, and now in India that makes this kind of global impact possible.
I want to thank Malaria No More’s Co-chairs, Peter Chernin and Chris Combe, our co-Founder Ray Chambers, and the rest of the Board and our Host Committee for helping us put on this beautiful event.
Let me also thank tonights’ honorees – 21 Century Fox and Star India, and acknowledge our supporters:
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Abbott, ExxonMobil, KimberlyClarke, Sumitomo Chemical, Mosquito Squad, Vestergaard Franzen, The MCJ amelior Foundation, AT&T, Time Warner, Morgan Stanley, and The Walt Disney Company.
I especially want to thank all of our individual supporters in the room tonight, we simply couldn’t do this without you. And if you’re not yet a donor, don’t worry, you’ll get your chance.
So… Why are we focused tonight on India?
History tells us that India is the proving ground for humanity’s ambition to end diseases—the place where our strategies, our resolve, and our ingenuity are tested.
India has the third highest malaria burden in the world – fully 1.2 billion people are at risk – and India the last line of defense against the spread of drug resistant strains of malaria.
It is no exaggeration to say that India is where the fight against malaria could be won or lost.
You might call India the “gateway to eradication” — The learning and innovation required to end a disease there, equips mankind to end that disease everywhere. … First with smallpox, then with polio, and now, with malaria.
It was in 1897, in Secunderabad India, that Dr. Ronald Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected mosquito.
You might say, Malaria was discovered in India. And we are convinced that the solutions to ending it will be found in India as well.
I recently met Dr. Yusuf Hamied, the Chairman of Cipla, one of India’s largest and most storied pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Hamied told me the story of how his family’s company was “built on malaria”, and I want to share with you.
Dr. Hamied’s father was a chemist, an entrepreneur and active participant in India’s freedom movement alongside Mahatma Gandhi.
A few months before WWII broke out, Gandhi visited Dr. Hamied at Cipla’s factory in Bombay and asked what Cipla could do to help in the war effort.
Dr. Hamied volunteered to make the first anti-malaria drug for India, which became popularly known in the sub-continent as “Hari Goli,” the “green pill.”
Even today, the tools for ending malaria are being made in India.
Today, Cipla is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of life-saving malaria drugs.
Abbott, the world’s leading manufacturer of rapid diagnostic tests, has a state-of-the-art factory in Haryana, not far from Delhi, that can produce up to 500 million tests per year.
Tonight, Malaria No More is proud to launch its program and partnership with India. We’re working with the Government of India, the State of Odisha, India’s highest burden state, and partners like Abbott and Star India, to apply cutting-edge strategies and technologies to end this ancient disease.
When the smallpox elimination campaign was waged in India in the 1970s, they painted the sides of elephants to educate the public about the symptoms.
Malaria eradication will be achieved – not with elephants – but using jio phones, new formulation insecticides, ultra-sensitive rapid diagnostic tests, satellite mapping, and artificial intelligence.
Prime Minister Modi set the bold goal of achieving a malaria free India by 2030. So that is our goal.
This is a 10 year sprint to end the world’s oldest disease in the world’s largest democracy, and we need your help to do it.
Thank You for your support.
For more information or interview requests, contact Michal Fishman at +1 504-220-2792 or Michal.Fishman@MalariaNoMore.org
About Malaria No More
Malaria No More envisions a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite. More than a decade into our mission, our work has contributed to historic progress toward this goal. Now, we’re mobilizing the political commitment, funding, and innovation required to achieve what would be one of the greatest humanitarian accomplishments – ending malaria within our generation. For more information, visit www.malarianomore.org