The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted as a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and planet. The goals call for urgent action to end economic and social challenges such as poverty, hunger, discrimination against women and girls, while improving health, education and tackling climate change. MMV and partners recognize that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are integrated, that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that equitable development must balance social and economic sustainability. With a focus on our malaria work, in 2021, we aimed to contribute to the achievement of several SDGs.
SDG 1: No poverty
Access to effective and affordable antimalarials is key to eliminating malaria, a major cause of poverty.
SDG 3: Good health and well-being
MMV has assembled the largest ever portfolio of antimalarials.
SDG 5: Gender equality
MMV prioritizes the needs of women and girls, a key population at risk of malaria.
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Availability of antimalarials for workers and their families in affected areas decreases absenteeism in the workplace.
SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
MMV invests in partnerships, including those which strengthen research and manufacturing capacity in Africa.
SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
Antimalarials cure and protect the most vulnerable and under-served populations.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
Partnership is at the core of the PDP model, bringing together academia, pharma, research institutes, philanthropic organizations and funders.
Since its foundation in 1999, MMV and partners have brought forward 13 quality medicines, which have saved almost 3 million lives.
Our antimalarial portfolio is the largest ever assembled and comprises 12 compounds in clinical development targeting unmet medical needs, including medicines for children, pregnant women and people suffering from drug-resistant malaria. These antimalarials hold the promise of contributing to the global drive towards malaria eradication as well as contribute to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals.
Issues and response
Ms Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of ALMA and MMV Board member: giving Africa’s drive to Zero Malaria a turbo boost
The latest World Malaria Report was a wake-up call – we have underestimated the global burden of malaria for over two decades. Although the decline in malaria cases and deaths was real, the actual baseline numbers were 28.7% higher than we had previously calculated. In 2020, the year that the COVID-19 pandemic threw its deadly pall over the world, an estimated 627,000 people lost their lives to malaria, 93% of whom lived in Africa, and the vast majority were children under 5 years of age. Read this message from Ms Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) and MMV Board Member, to learn more about African leadership in tackling malaria and the importance of continued global collaboration.
Tackling inequity in health: shining a light on the most at-risk
Infants, young children and women of childbearing age are disproportionately affected by malaria. Women and girls also bear most of the burden of caring for the ill, which stops them from attending work and school and perpetuates a cycle of poverty. Programmes that take these populations into consideration and invest in research and development of therapies that are well tolerated by pregnant women are necessary to reduce inequity and eliminate malaria.
Advancing malaria interventions while supporting the COVID-19 response
In addition to advancing new candidate antimalarials further down the pipeline in 2021, MMV worked to anticipate and react to disruptions to malaria commodity flow due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included bolstering support for African manufacturing of malaria medicines. In parallel, MMV continued R&D support for the COVID-19 response.
Improving access to new tools for relapsing malaria
For a long time, Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) malaria was considered less severe than that caused by Plasmodium falciparum, and its clinical impact underestimated. However, this notion has changed, especially in terms of the impact on young children and pregnant women. Furthermore, P. vivax malaria is a particular challenge for elimination efforts due to the complex life cycle of the parasite. In 2021, MMV and partner PATH, launched the Partnership for Vivax Elimination (PAVE) to accelerate the elimination of relapsing P. vivax malaria.
New tools for malaria R&D: Fast-tracking innovation for case management
For medicines targeting infections, there is a risk that the pathogen will develop resistance, which may lead initially to infections which require a higher dose of medicine to treat, and ultimately the failure of the drug. To counter this risk, it is vital that researchers discover and develop antimalarial compounds with new mechanisms of action and high barriers to resistance. Learn about MMV's approach to identifying and quantifying the risk of resistance in malaria drugs and accelerating drug discovery to bring forward new candidate antimalarials.
Real life stories
Each person affected by malaria has their own unique story.
Justina and Kelvin’s story
Justina and her husband, Kelvin, are farmers who grow maize and soya beans in the Serenje District in Zambia’s Central Province. The malaria burden here is high which is why it was selected as the location for the MAMaZ Against Malaria project. One day while Kelvin was out, Annette, one of the couple’s five children, developed a high fever. Later that day, her symptoms worsened: she began vomiting and having diarrhoea. “I was very scared because that day I was alone," said Justina.
Menesolita Fernández Barboza is a wife, a mother of three and a farmer living in Loreto Province, in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon. Loreto, which makes up one-third of the country’s territory, is a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes, owing to its humidity, frequent rain showers and abundant vegetation. The sparsely populated region consequently accounts for 96% of Peru’s malaria burden. For the last 15 years, on top of her day job, Menesolita has also been a community healthcare worker (CHW) involved in family support initiatives as well as malaria prevention and treatment.
Medicines for Malaria Venture receives sustained funding and support from government agencies, private foundations, international organizations, corporations, corporate foundations and private individuals.
These funds are used to finance MMV’s portfolio of R&D projects as well as specific, targeted access and delivery interventions that aim to make it easier for vulnerable populations to gain access to lifesaving medicines.
84% directly supported R&D and access initiatives
MMV is grateful for the support in 2021 from individual donors as well as the following institutional donors:
Photos from top to bottom:
Home (Emmanuel Museruka/MMV); Children eating bananas (Emmanuel Muserka/MMV); Milestones: SDG 1 (Emmanuel Muserka/MMV), SDG 3 (Jaya Banerji/MMV), SDG 5 (Karel-Prinsloo/Jhpiego), SDG 8 (Daniel San Martin/ MMV), SDG 9 (University of Cape Town, South Africa), SDG 10 (Damien Schumann); SDG 17 (Robert Papais/MMV); Pipeline (Alexander Traksel/ iStock); Issues and response: Tackling inequity (Karel Prinsloo/Jhpiego), Advancing malaria interventions (Emmanuel Museruka/ MMV), Improving access to new tools (Daniel San Martin/ MMV), New tools for malaria R&D (Daniel San Martin/ MMV); Real life story (Toby Madden/Transaid)
Portrait photos provided by interviewees.