Editor’s note: This story has been updated since time of publication to reflect the latest developments.
In 2021, the world reached a major milestone in the fight against malaria. For the first time, the World Health Organization recommended use of a malaria vaccine for children, a move that could help save tens of thousands of lives each year. This breakthrough was developed through a partnership with PATH, an organization that’s funded, in part, by ExxonMobil.
That advancement didn’t happen overnight. For more than 20 years, the ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative has helped contribute meaningful advances in the fight against this disease. What began as an effort to protect workers and local communities in Chad and Cameroon has evolved into a global initiative.
“As we have seen over the last 20 years in the fight against malaria, targeted investments in health care systems can lead to stronger and more resilient communities,” said Kevin Murphy, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “Tremendous global progress has been made in malaria prevention and treatment efforts. Our strategic partnerships with governments and nonprofit organizations have helped raise awareness of the disease, trained health care workers and assisted in distribution of life-saving prevention and treatment tools.”
ExxonMobil’s investments have supported the delivery of over 15 million bed nets, 4 million diagnostic kits, 5.3 million antimalarial treatments and the training of more than 750,000 health workers. To date, the company’s efforts have benefited more than 125 million people in malaria-endemic communities.
Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the global health community, malaria deaths have been reduced by more than half since 2000, and access to preventative measures, diagnostics and treatments have significantly increased. In addition, more than 1 billion cases1 of malaria have been prevented, translating to more than 7 million lives saved.
“Since 2000, we’ve protected our employees by making key investments to improve health care in the communities near and where we operate,” said Dr. Victoria Weldon, global medical director, Medicine and Occupational Health at ExxonMobil. “We have supported our host countries’ efforts to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to disease outbreaks, which we hope can also help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the short term.”
Take a look back at some of the milestones over the course of ExxonMobil’s two-decade journey in the fight against malaria: