Malaria is one of the leading causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa, but this is something that Land Rover and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation are set on changing. With intrepid explorer and humanitarian hero heading the charge, with Land Rover powering his progress, more than 100 000 lives have been saved over the past two years.
More than 3.3 billion people in 106 countries across the world are at risk of contracting malaria, spread through the bite of female Anopheles mosquitos. In 2015, an estimated 438 000 lives were claimed by the disease. Of these, nine out of each ten deaths were in Africa, with children under five years being the highest at risk.
However, since 2000 the incidence of malaria – a treatable and preventable disease – fell 37%, globally, according to the World Health Organisation*. In Africa alone incidence rates have fallen 42% over the last 15 years, while malaria mortality has plummeted 66% in the region. Simple tools like treated mosquito nets; effective medicines and safe indoor spraying have been effective at saving lives.
Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa together with the Kingsley Holgate Foundation play a role in this battle against the disease. The Foundation uses Land Rover vehicles in their humanitarian expeditions into Africa, stopping in remote villages to spread education about malaria and hand out treated anti-malaria nets to protect families from mosquitoes.
“We’re extremely proud to have played a role in this story. It’s an honour to be able to say we have helped protect more than 100 000 people from malaria,” says Richard Gouverneur, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “Kingsley has done an excellent job of using our Land Rover vehicles to access the remotest parts of Africa, allowing him to educate people on combating malaria. And by supplying the treated nets, he’s also given them hope and means to help improve their quality of life.”
Over the past two years Holgate’s convoy of Land Rovers have distributed anti-malaria nets to 11 countries in Africa, learning as well as spreading information about malaria prevention practices. Data gathered during the expeditions include community details, GPS coordinates, names of community leaders, the number of nets distributed, and details of malaria risk. Also recorded are locations of the closest clinics or hospitals, to ensure sustainability and assist with follow-ups.
Since 2014, Holgate has distributed 33 955 Permanet 3.0 nets, manufactured by Vestergaard. These have been handed out in communities across 11 countries in sub-Sahara Africa. On average, three people can use one net at night, which means more than 100 000 individuals have benefited from malaria protection.
The long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLITN) are designed to cover beds, physically protecting people from mosquito bites. The treatment applied to the nets repel, disable or kill the malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito. LLITNs are designed to be effective without re-treatment for the life of the net – obviously of greater benefit in rural communities. This contrasts with conventional insecticide-treated mosquito nets, which need to be re-treated regularly.
“It is just a tragedy that communities are robbed of their young children because of something as simple as a mosquito bite,” says Kingsley Holgate. “World Malaria Day helps raise the profile of the efforts being undertaken to curb the spread of this treatable disease. Thanks to Land Rover, we’ve been able to provide a basic, effective preventative measure to 100 000 people in just two years. And we won’t stop here – our work will continue into the future.”
Source: Land Rover
For more about Kingsley Holgate’s latest expedition to the ‘Heart of Africa’ get a copy of the Leisure Wheels May issue, where we interview this great explorer and humanitarian.