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Defeating malaria with knowledge

In Africa, one child dies every minute from malaria. What makes this particularly tragic is that deaths from malaria are preventable. We have the tools and the knowledge to protect people from this disease, even in regions where it is still highly endemic.

Building on its efforts to raise awareness of malaria-related issues, Harvard University has launched an initiative to enable the school’s students, faculty and alumni to work across a number of fields and sectors to combat malaria worldwide. Harvard’s program is called “Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe.”

Last Thursday, on World Malaria Day, Harvard’s team unveiled a Defeating Malaria website that aims to disseminate knowledge to support the control and ultimate eradication of this devastating disease.

The ExxonMobil Foundation is supporting this effort as part of our own longstanding Malaria Initiative. Foundation president Suzanne McCarron contributed a guest blog post on Harvard’s new website that details some of our most recent steps, including grants to leaders in the malaria field to further their efforts.

I encourage you to read Suzanne’s post and to check Harvard’s site regularly for updates on their progress.

There’s quite a story to tell already. Malaria-related deaths have dropped by more than 25 percent since 2000. That’s great news. But the malaria challenge is far from over. Working with Harvard and with various governments, NGOs and corporate leaders, we can keep the spotlight on malaria and continue to make progress toward its ultimate extinction.

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