In honor of World TB Day and World Malaria Day, we are highlighting some of the extraordinary work the PSD member companies are undertaking in the fight to end these epidemics. Read more about how Eli Lilly is bringing global attention to the TB-diabetes co-epidemic, Janssen’s partnership to expand access to a new MDR-TB drug, Sumitomo Chemical’s commitment to protect refugees from malaria, and Sanofi’s behavior change communication initiative that is educating children and protecting communities against malaria.
World TB Day – Unite to End TB | 24 March
Recent research indicates that an emerging co-epidemic of diabetes and tuberculosis – two of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide – poses an imminent public health threat. Today, diabetes mellitus (Type 2 Diabetes) is as prevalent in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as it is in high-income countries. Because the disease weakens a person’s immune system, there can be a devastating impact on patients’ ability to fight TB infections. For people at risk of TB, type 2 Diabetes triples the risk of developing active TB, prolongs the amount of time TB is contagious, and increases the likelihood of TB recurrence and fatality even after successful treatment. Since this new risk posed by diabetes could undermine recent gains made against TB, the need for a coordinated response to both diseases is all the more important, especially in LMICs.
With two flagship partnerships focusing separately on TB and non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, Lilly is uniquely positioned to address the TB-diabetes threat. In November 2015, representatives from Lilly spoke on two panels at the first Global Summit on Diabetes and TB. They highlighted their TB and diabetes work with partners in India and South Africa and offered high-impact strategies for managing the co-epidemic. Lilly underlined the need to build the capacity of healthcare providers to provide bi-directional screening and manage patients impacted by both diseases, as well as the important role of the private sector in fostering collaborative efforts to address this global public health threat.
Following the summit, the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the World Diabetes Foundation signed the Bali Declaration, which unites 100 global health officials and experts in a campaign to bring the threat of the co-epidemic to the attention of governments around the world.
Learn more about the TB-diabetes co-epidemic and Lilly’s partnerships here.
Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement to formalize a four-year collaboration in which Janssen will donate an estimated USD 30 million worth of its anti-MDR-TB treatment bedaquiline (30,000 courses) to USAID for use in over 100 low- and middle-income Global Fund-eligible countries worldwide for the treatment of MDR-TB.
USAID will work with National TB programs and its implementing partners, with consulting and operational support from Janssen, to provide reasonable access and ensure appropriate use of bedaquiline in accordance with the WHO Interim Guidance for the Treatment of MDR-TB.
In 2014 an estimated 480,000 people developed MDR-TB. Antimicrobial resistance – and specifically that seen in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) – is one of the world’s most serious public health threats.
This new collaboration is the latest in the overall efforts by Johnson & Johnson to advance global health by helping to address significant worldwide unmet medical needs and the appropriate use of scalable treatment regimens. Since the program’s inception as many as 36 eligible countries have collectively requested 5,000 doses of bedaquiline. This will help countries reach and treat more people suffering from MDR-TB and ultimately save lives.
World Malaria Day – The Road to Malaria Eradication | 25 April
Today, there are more than 50 million refugees displaced by violence around the world – and 60 percent of them live in areas where malaria is transmitted. Refugees and displaced families are the most vulnerable of populations, with no fixed abode and falling outside the regular country health system, so Sumitomo Chemical are supporting Nothing But Nets’ Million Net Pledge which aims to distribute one million nets by the end of 2016 to at risk refugees particularly in the central African region. Sumitomo Chemical’s support comes in the way of a matching grant and significant promotional support to help and highlight this often neglected yet sizeable demographic at risk of malaria.
Children are the primary victims of malaria, and they are also the adults of tomorrow. Educating them is an essential part of the fight against malaria. The Schoolchildren against Malaria program is a behavior change communication initiative, which focuses on prevention, treatment and control of malaria.
Through this program, and in partnership with National Malaria Control Programs (NMCP) and Ministries of Education, Sanofi provides teachers with the “MOSKI KIT”, an edutainment toolkit. This comprehensive toolkit is specifically designed to conduct didactic and interactive learning sessions with kids in order to promote malaria prevention behaviors through schools.
This program aims to use Schoolchildren as Behavior Change Agents; they are expected to communicate messages about malaria prevention to their peers and families in order to engage the community in the fight against malaria.
The Schoolchildren against Malaria program was first developed through collaboration between Sanofi and the NMCP in Côte d’Ivoire. Since 2008, fifteen Sub-Saharan African countries have implemented the program: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
Since 2012, in Côte d’Ivoire, a popular TV show for children called “Petit à Petit” has broadcast the national Schoolchildren against Malaria inter-school theater contest, with an estimated audience of around 8 million viewers every year.