The partnership is a four-year agreement between MedAccess, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and global chemical producer BASF. It is accelerating access to a new and innovative mosquito-control technology at lower prices to communities with the greatest needs.
The agreement enables BASF to better plan long-term resources and reduce the cost of the new bed nets by an average of 40%. This makes the nets more accessible and affordable for countries where insecticide resistance is growing, and conventional nets are becoming less effective.
In 2018, malaria killed approximately 405,000 people, mostly children. ITNs help to prevent the spread of malaria by providing a physical barrier between mosquitoes and sleeping people, using a chemical to kill the mosquitoes. Since 2001, ITNs have prevented more than 450 million cases of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to more than 90 per cent of malaria cases and deaths in the world.
However, growing resistance among mosquitoes to pyrethroid – the main insecticide used in ITNs – is threatening to hinder progress. Resistance to at least one insecticide class used in mosquito control has been reported in 73 of 81 malaria-endemic countries, covering all regions of sub-Saharan Africa. This resistance makes bed nets less effective in preventing malaria cases and, after decades of malaria cases falling in Africa, they have been rising since 2015.
Despite their benefits, uptake of these dual-insecticide bed nets was expected to be slow due to market-related barriers. Limited visibility on future order volumes meant that BASF would have difficulty scaling up, or even continuing, production, which would have kept prices significantly above traditional pyrethroid nets. By working with our partners to guarantee a minimum sales volume of bed nets over the life of the guarantee, BASF had the certainty required to scale-up production and reduce prices.
Our guarantee builds on the commitment of organisations such as the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) who partnered with BASF to support the development of the nets. It also supports the objectives of the New Nets Project co-financed by The Global Fund and Unitaid.