According to the WHO’s 2022 World Malaria Report, the WHO African region accounts for 95% of Malaria cases globally. On the occasion of World Malaria Day, we had the opportunity to interview Aladji Cissé, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Envu.
As Envu has launched as a standalone company 6 months ago, he takes the opportunity to reinforce the will of the company to play its part towards a future free of Malaria. To help our partners combat the disease, we provide them with innovative and sustainable Vector Control solutions that address the roots of the disease while partnering with local communities and worldwide institutions.
We discussed with Aladji how he and his team have been committed for years to the fight against Malaria.
Could you please tell us more about yourself and your position in Envu?
A.C. “I am Aladji Cissé, a Senegalese national with a PhD in Pharmacy.
Senegal is based in a geographic location where evidently Malaria was of high concern. At a very early age, I recall my father making it a necessity for the family to gather on a Sunday morning to take Malaria protection pills (chemoprevention).
Through my journey of obtaining my qualifications, I have come face to face with this burden, witnessing the loss, hopelessness, and uncertainty first-hand.
The exposure to this deadly disease has forged my passion and dedication to the fight against Malaria since the beginning of my professional career.
Presently holding a position in Envu as the Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, I am confronted with both the challenges that exist and the dedication of a nation to collectively help eradicate the disease.”
What’s the current state of play in Sub-Saharan Africa?
A.C. “WHO reported 841,000 Malaria deaths in 2000, with a further decrease in 2018 (541,000 reported deaths). Progress has been made, yet there is still much more to be done.
What we noticed recently is that our global context can sometimes make the fight against Malaria even more challenging: in 2021, there was a notable increase featuring 593,000 deaths that have been caused by an array of factors. For instance, COVID-19 prevented crucial Malaria interventions from being carried out in some countries because of travel restrictions and higher operational costs. The same goes for international conflicts, other disease outbreaks, and natural disasters caused by climate change.
These situations put a strain on hospitals, and as a result, people with Malaria who need medical attention cannot always receive it.
All efforts are needed! Our team supports Malaria programs in countries to alleviate this strain by providing efficient Vector Control solutions, for example.”
How is Envu playing its part to help reduce the burden?
A.C. “Our company was founded in 2022, but it benefits from over 60 years of experience in Vector Control, and here in Africa, we are more than 50 passionate people dedicated to our partners.
At Envu, we are all pursuing the same goal: advancing healthy environments for everyone, everywhere, and this especially resonates with us. We help our partners save lives by preventing the bite.
Aside from the Vector Control solutions, we invest in partnerships with international organizations and foundations such as Goodbye Malaria, IVCC, United to Beat Malaria, and the United Nations Foundation. We also have close relationships with governments and institutions.
As involving the communities in the fight is also key, we also sponsor major initiatives such as PAMCA and Women In Vector Control, and we support the next generation of Malaria scientists.”
How does Envu support Vector Control?
A.C. “Vector Control is a vital component of Malaria control and elimination strategies, as it is highly effective in preventing infection and reducing disease transmission.
Envu has a unique Vector Control portfolio that includes three different modes of action for resistance management. Currently, we have two products for Indoor Residual Spraying: Ficam® and Fludora® Fusion.
Fludora® Fusion is the first combination product used in Indoor Residual Spraying to delay resistance development. Since its launch in 2019, it has been used in more than 13 million households and has protected more than 90 million people.
Envu actively promotes and supports the safe use of Malaria Vector Control solutions through dedicated training sessions for pre- and post- spraying campaigns, but also by giving support to educate communities on the interventions that might be carried out in their environment. We strongly believe that spreading awareness of the Vector Control issue is key to helping them accept these products.
We are also committed to taking action in the R&D sector. As an Innovation company, Envu plays a key role in developing new solutions not only based on conventional chemistry but also on biorational active principles as well as new intervention methods.”
Do you work with other stakeholders?
A.C. “Yes. We work with funding partners who support interventions and provide expertise. Manufacturers and suppliers also play an important part in this fight by producing useful commodities.
However, this isn’t enough: as I said, communities need to be involved as well. They need to follow best practices and use the available solutions. Therefore, we aim at providing guidance and support at the country level, by implementing prevention and Vector Control solutions against Malaria.
Great progress has been made, but some setbacks have also happened. We are convinced that countries need to be aware of what could be done and put as much effort as possible into this fight.”
Finally, do you believe that a world free of Malaria is possible? If so, what could we do to make it happen?
A.C. “Envu collaborates with national and international organizations, foundations, and governments to pave the way for a future free of Malaria. Combining our forces and expertise, while also involving communities, is crucial to tackle this huge challenge.
Envu has also a key role to play in chemical development to provide the solutions that will address the challenges we are facing, such as insecticide resistance.
I am convinced that a future free of Malaria is possible, and this is one of my personal battles.
I would say that the Envu team is empowered and committed to acting in this direction.
I am fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues and experts who share the same passion and dedication as me, making the fight against Malaria one of our core battles.
Thank you, Aladji, for sharing insights and expressing the strong commitment of your team in the fight against Malaria.
On this World Malaria Day and beyond, Envu’s aim is to raise awareness of this deadly disease and the ways we can combat it, as well as to reinforce its solid commitment to the fight. By constantly striving to develop new Vector Control solutions and teaming up with our partners in Africa and worldwide, Envu contributes to the creation of a future free of Malaria.