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SANOFI: Using Innovative Approaches to Fight Malaria

Despite being a treatable and preventable disease, malaria claimed 660,000 lives in 2010, and 91% of these deaths were in the African continent. Since 2001, Sanofi, an integrated healthcare company focused on patients’ needs, has been implementing a comprehensive program against malaria in Africa focused on:

  • Providing access to affordable quality anti-malaria drugs for the most disadvantaged patients
  • Offering training and education for malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
  • Meeting future needs through innovation

Access to Medicines:

Sanofi has a presence in most malaria endemic African countries through its affiliates and production units. Partnering with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) Foundation, Sanofi has developed Artesunate Amodiaquine Winthrop® (ASAQ Winthrop®), an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to meet WHO demands. The malaria medicine represents a therapeutic and industrial innovation, and the total three-day treatment is available to governments and NGOs at prices of less than $1 for adults and $0.50 for children.

With its partners and the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sanofi has developed an industrial manufacturing fermentation-based process and now produces semi-synthetic artemisinin. This is expected to stabilize the cost of artemisinin, a critical component of ACTs. For the longer term, Sanofi research and development team is working on new drugs to address the threat of drug resistance.

Impact:

Since ASAQ Winthrop® became available in 2007, 200 million treatments have been distributed

Sanofi received the Pierre Potier Science and Technology Prize in 2012 for its production of semi-synthetic artemisinin

Training Programs:

Conscious that drugs alone are not enough, Sanofi has also developed training and awareness programs in partnership with NGOs and National Malaria Control Programs. With a curriculum designed to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and communication tools for malaria treatment, prevention and diagnosis, the program seeks to “train the trainers.” Healthcare professionals from Ministries of Health come together for a 3-day training program to improve their understanding of the disease and learn effective communication methods to increase malaria awareness in communities where they work.

Impact:

Program running successfully in 18 African countries

300 healthcare professionals trained in countries such as Chad, Malawi, Burundi and Benin

34 trainers in the DRC trained 5,000 healthcare workers

Education Programs:

The Sanofi malaria program also includes a component targeted towards communities. Through its Information, Education and Communication initiatives Sanofi has used innovative approaches such as the Schoolchildren Against Malaria initiative which uses theatre plays to educate primary school children about malaria and prevention techniques.

Impact:

10 countries involved in the “Schoolchildren Against Malaria” initiative

3.6 million children reached in Côte d’Ivoire (2012)

Learn more about Sanofi's Impact Malaria program.

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