While the world reels from the impacts of COVID-19 and the aggressive measures that were put in place to curb the spread of the disease, it is essential that ongoing efforts to prevent other killers such as malaria are not overlooked. The World Health Organisation’s most recent report shows that malaria causes illness in around 230 million people and kills approximately 430 000 people each year. More than 90 per cent of all cases occur in Africa, and of those, pregnant women and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable. Sadly, a child dies every two minutes around the clock from malaria.
In observance of World Malaria Day on Saturday the 25th of April, Land Rover and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation would like to share some facts around this deadly mosquito-borne disease and highlight their past and future efforts against the widespread malaria epidemic.
For the past 16 years, Land Rover and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation have battled malaria across the African continent, with the delivery of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. This was to some of the most affected regions and especially aimed at pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of five years. To date more than 420 000 nets have been distributed and over 450 000 homes have been sprayed.
Alongside these direct preventative measures, the team also distributes educational leaflets and encourages various awareness programmes, including community-focused malaria art projects with children and soccer matches, in order to spread a malaria prevention message to thousands of community residents. Altogether, these efforts have resulted in the lives of more than three-million people being protected. On past missions, such as the Outside Edge and African Rainbow Expeditions, Kingsley and the team have delivered thousands of mosquito nets to remote areas by Land Rover alone. Nets are packaged tightly into bundles of five, with 20 bundles in a 70kg bale. Each Land Rover Discovery, of which there are two for recent expeditions, can carry eight bales or 800 nets each. The expedition team’s support Defender 130 can carry 1 000 nets on its own.
With the help of logistical partners throughout Africa, additional mosquito nets are delivered to key locations ahead of each expedition’s arrival. In April 2019 during the Mozambique Flood Relief Expedition, more than 10 000 mosquito nets were delivered to communities surrounding the Gorongosa National Park that were devastated by Cyclone Idai and, because of the widespread flooding, were also hard hit by malaria.
“Naturally, we concentrate on deep rural areas where there are little or no regular health services,” said Holgate.
“We are incredibly thankful for Land Rover’s continued support over nearly two decades. It would simply not be possible to reach these communities without the capabilities of our vehicles. We are impatiently waiting to get back on the road once it’s safe to do so and continue improving and saving lives.”
In total, more than 1.5-million kilometres have been covered in the Kingsley Holgate Foundation’s expedition Land Rovers to deliver humanitarian aid. Land Rover and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation are currently in the planning stages of adding to this tally, with another grand expedition across the African continent and beyond.
The details of this mission, along with some exciting developments involving the Foundation’s partnership with Land Rover, will be communicated in due course.