Posted by: APO | 10 June 2015

Novartis Supports Pan-African Meeting to Move Faster to Malaria Elimination

Novartis Supports Pan-African Meeting to Move Faster to Malaria Elimination

•          Malaria experts and leaders from over 35 African countries gather to explore innovative strategies to move from malaria control to elimination

•          Meeting convened by Novartis fosters best practice sharing and helps catalyze action to achieve new WHO objective of 90% reduction in malaria burden by 2030

•          Growing threats including inadequate funding, first signs of drug resistance, and the advance of diseases such as Ebola, could derail efforts unless addressed

MAPUTO, Mozambique, June 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Novartis (NVS) ( kicks off the 14th annual National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) Best Practice Sharing Workshop today. Africa is at a crossroad in the fight against malaria and this meeting will provide the opportunity for malaria experts from over 35 countries in Africa to discuss the need for new innovative tools and strategies to achieve malaria elimination.


(Dr. Linus Igwemezie, Head of the Novartis Malaria Initiative)

“This discussion could not have come at a better time since we in the Southern African Development Community region are already advanced in the elimination program having earmarked eight countries in this region as pilots for the elimination campaign,” said Hon. Dr. Nazira Abdula, Minister for Health, Mozambique.

The three-day workshop, convened by Novartis, with support from international organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Malaria Consortium, will focus on the new WHO “Global Technical Strategy and Targets for Malaria 2016 – 2030”, which aims to accelerate progress in the fight against malaria. The NMCP heads will discuss the advances in technology made to date and how these tools can be implemented and improved to achieve the new WHO objective of 90% reduction in malaria cases and mortality rates by 2030.(1)

“Novartis is proud to provide this unique platform,” said Dr. Linus Igwemezie, Head of the Novartis Malaria Initiative. “These meetings have been designed for NMCP members by NCMP members, to develop new ideas and strategies to achieve elimination of this deadly disease.”

The NMCP meeting comes as the world has reached a critical juncture in the fight against malaria: Malaria mortality rates have fallen by 47% globally since 20001 and this has helped the malaria community gain growing momentum to realize that elimination is possible. Yet, new threats such as inadequate funding, the first signs of drug resistance, and the advance of diseases such as Ebola, could derail efforts unless addressed.

Dr. Simon Kunene, NMCP Head Swaziland, said “These NMCP meetings are important platforms to share best practice across the continent and drive progress. Kenya for example has made significant improvements in the quality of malaria case management since the implementation of the new policy that requires diagnostic testing prior to treatment. The same applies to the entire Southern African Development Community which has tremendously improved case management after harmonizing treatment protocols in the region. In my own country Swaziland, we have made great progress towards malaria elimination through improved disease surveillance, a critical area since it helps program managers focus their resources.”

Since the first workshop in 2006, this unique event has provided a platform to share experiences and best practice in the management of malaria. Groundbreaking projects have emerged as a result of these meetings, such as the SMS for Life program to support more efficient stock management in rural health facilities, and the development of Coartem® Dispersible, the first ACT specifically tailored to infants and children (weighing 5 kg or more), which was developed in collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Novartis International AG.

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Notes to editors

About the Novartis Malaria Initiative

The Novartis Malaria Initiative ( is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s largest access-to-medicines programs, resting on four key pillars – access, treatment, research & development, and capacity building – the Novartis Malaria Initiative is tailored to best meet patient needs. It has become the largest access-to-medicine program in the healthcare industry measured by the number of patients reached annually. To date, the Novartis Malaria Initiative has delivered more than 700 million treatments of Coartem®, which has become the standard of care for malaria, including 250 million Coartem® Dispersible antimalarials, the first fixed-dose paediatric treatment for malaria, without profit to malaria-endemic countries. Never before have so many treatments been distributed in such a short time frame to assist children suffering from malaria.

Moving forward, Novartis is committed to working towards malaria elimination by driving the development of next-generation antimalarials, with two new classes of drugs currently in Phase II clinical development. For more information, please visit:


This press release contains expressed or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as “move faster to,” “strategies,” “objective,” “growing,” “could,” “efforts,” “kicks off,” “will,” “accelerate,” “progress towards,” “moving forward,” “committed,” “currently,” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update it in the future.

About Novartis

Novartis (NVS) ( provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group achieved net sales of USD 58.0 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 120,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit


(1) World Health Organization. March 2015. Malaria: draft global technical strategy: post 2015. A68/28


Novartis International AG


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