Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL) has flagged off the first consignment of antimalarial drugs to Rwanda as part of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). The company was awarded the PMI contract several months ago to manufacture and supply malaria treatments (Artemether Lumefantrine) to African countries and those outside Africa such as Myanmar which receive medicines funded by PMI.
Rwanda, like most African countries, is at a high risk of malaria. Rwanda made remarkable progress in the fight against malaria from 2005–2012, during which time there was an 86 percent reduction in malaria incidence and a 74 percent reduction in malaria mortality. The country joined PMI in 2007.
The President’s Malaria Initiative was launched in 2005 with the goal of the reducing malaria-related mortality by 50 percent across 15 high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a rapid scale-up of four proven and highly effective malaria prevention and treatment measures. The four proven measures include insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs); indoor residual spraying (IRS); accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs); and intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women (https://www.pmi.gov/about) the ultimate goal is to eliminate malaria entirely worldwide by 2040.
To help achieve this goal, PMI contracted CiplaQCIL to supply malaria medicines to African and South East Asian countries. “We are delighted to have been contracted to provide this service based on our intent of providing affordable quality medicines to patients in Africa and beyond. As a company, we are focused on making a difference to patients and saving lives, so this is a wonderful opportunity to do so,” said CiplaQCIL’ s Chief Executive Officer, Nevin Bradford.
Malaria prevention and control remains a major U.S. foreign assistance objective and PMI’s strategy fully aligns with the U.S. Government’s vision of ending preventable child and maternal deaths and ending extreme poverty. The contributions of PMI has led to dramatic improvements in the coverage of malaria control interventions in PMI supported countries, and all 15 original countries have documented substantial declines in all-cause mortality rates among children less than five years of age according to a report released by the initiative in 2018.
The Initiative announced plans for a five-country expansion adding programs in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Sierra Leone, which grew its reach to 24 malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including those with the highest burden, and three programs in the Greater Mekong Sub region of Southeast Asia.
CiplaQCIL will at a later stage deliver antimalarial drugs to most of these countries. CiplaQCIL is committed to making the highest quality, affordable, lifesaving medicines available to African patients manufactured in Africa. “The partnership with PMI will not only improve health sectors in different African countries and beyond but also shows that we’re focused on providing African solutions to African problems,” said Bradford.