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.
Lives changed: impact is based on projections developed by malaria modelling experts at Imperial College London. The figures provided by Imperial represent the impact of switching from standard long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to Interceptor G2 nets within the countries where IG2 the nets are distributed.
Money saved: the price of individual nets varies by size. Impact is estimated based on actual price reductions for an average-sized net over the course of the volume guarantee.
Markets shaped: we work with partners, including donors, procurers and ministries of health, to track changes in health markets where our investments are supporting access to products. We monitor for changes to policy, procurement practices and supplier movement, all of which affect markets and contribute to the long-term sustainability of impact. To quantify change against a baseline, we use publicly available indicators as proxies for market-wide change.
In 2019, malaria killed approximately 409,000 people, more than two-thirds of whom were children. The World Health Organization has warned that even moderate disruption to malaria services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could result in up to almost 50,000 additional malaria deaths, the majority in sub-Saharan Africa.
Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) help to prevent the spread of malaria by providing a physical barrier between mosquitoes and sleeping people and by using a chemical to kill mosquitoes. In 2019, an estimated 46% of all people at risk of malaria in Africa were protected by an ITN, compared to 2% in 2000. However, ITN coverage has been at a standstill since 2016.
In addition, growing resistance among mosquitoes to pyrethroids – the main insecticide class used in ITNs – is threatening to hinder progress. Resistance to pyrethroids has been reported in 73 of the 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 cases falling in Africa, they have been rising since 2015.
Despite its benefits, uptake of this new BASF net was expected to be slow due to market-related barriers. Limited visibility on future order volumes meant that BASF would have difficulty scaling up 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.