While the world reels from the impacts of COVID-19 and aggressive measures are put in place to curb the spread of the disease, it is essential that ongoing efforts to prevent other killers such as malaria are not overlooked.
The WHO most recent report shows that malaria causes illness in around 230 million people and kills approximately 430,000 people each year. More than 90 per cent of all cases occur in Africa, and of those, pregnant women and children under the age of five are most vulnerable. Sadly, a child dies every two minutes around the clock from malaria.
In observance of World Malaria Day on 25 April, Land Rover and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation would like to share some facts around this deadly mosquito-borne disease and highlight their past and future efforts against the widespread malaria epidemic.
For the past 16 years, Land Rover and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation have battled malaria across the African continent, with the delivery of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to some of the most affected regions with a strong focus on pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of five years, and as long-term partners of the Goodbye Malaria indoor-residual spraying programme in Mozambique – one of the hardest-hit countries in Africa.
To date more than 420,000 nets have been distributed and over 450,000 homes have been sprayed.
On past missions, such as the Outside Edge and African Rainbow Expeditions, Kingsley, Ross and their team have delivered thousands of mosquito nets to remote areas by Land Rover alone. Nets are packaged tightly into bundles of five, with 20 bundles in a 70kg bale. Each Land Rover Discovery, of which there are two for recent expeditions, can carry eight bales or 800 nets each. The expedition team’s support Defender 130 can carry 1,000 nets on its own.
With the help of logistical partners throughout Africa, additional mosquito nets are delivered to key locations ahead of each expedition’s arrival. In April 2019 during the Mozambique Flood Relief Expedition, more than 10,000 mosquito nets were delivered to communities surrounding the Gorongosa National Park that were devastated by Cyclone Idai and, because of the widespread flooding, were also hard hit by malaria.