NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The J.C. Flowers Foundation is celebrating a decade of successful efforts in the fight against malaria.
The Foundation and several affiliated entities, including Nets for Life, have raised more than $34 million for programs to combat malaria in remote regions of several sub-Saharan African countries. With the Foundation’s help, more than 25 million people in Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other African countries have been reached through malaria prevention programs, and more than 12 million bed nets – a key component of disease prevention – have been distributed.
These efforts began in 2004, when J. Christopher Flowers, CEO of private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co., traveled to remote areas of northern Zambia in late 2004 along with staff of Episcopal Relief and Development. In a small, isolated village eight hours from the nearest town, a family was mourning the loss of a young child who had just died from malaria. In that year, Mr. Flowers co-founded Nets for Life, an outreach program in partnership with Episcopal Relief and Development. He soon realized malaria eradication efforts were undermined by a lack of coordination among the hard-hit sub-Saharan countries of Namibia, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The highly mobile populations in these nations were hard to reach, yet often the source of significant malaria transmission into neighboring countries.
In 2010, former Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell joined the effort; the Isdell: Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative was created with the goal of eliminating malaria in these neighboring countries through the following tactics:
- Bed net distribution into highly remote areas
- Recruitment and training of village health workers/malaria agents
- Behavior change communication activities at the village level
- Community malaria surveillance and rapid diagnostic testing
- Cross-border harmonization of malaria protocols, policies and surveillance
- Monitoring and evaluation and data analysis
“We believe our efforts have had a significant positive impact, in conjunction with government spraying programs and global aid programs to improve access to diagnosis, treatments and drugs,” said Mr. Flowers. “We have seen significant reduction in malaria in southern Zambia and northern Namibia, with both countries now in the pre-elimination stage of malaria. However, while progress has been made, eradication of the disease will require reaching remote communities where pockets of disease persist.
“There is unfortunately still much to be done,” said Mr. Flowers. “This effort calls for patience and a long-term commitment to programs and treatments. We are dedicated to seeing the end of malaria.”
Mr. Isdell, an important partner and honored attendee at this year’s anniversary event, commented upon Mr. Flowers’ efforts in anticipation of this important anniversary. “Chris has demonstrated the vision and perseverance necessary to combat a global health crisis like malaria. Our cross-border initiative has proven to be highly effective and we are ahead of our targets for the region. Additional creative and patient initiatives will be necessary to eradicate other globally threatening viruses, like Ebola. We believe our efforts can serve as an example of how to successfully meet these challenges.”
About the J.C. Flowers Foundation - Partnership for the Last Mile
Since 2004, the J.C. Flowers Foundation has fought to eradicate malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. To do so, the Foundation has coordinated efforts among funding organizations, governments and local grassroots organizations, particularly focusing on geographically remote regions where the highly mobile population is often a source of significant malaria transmission into neighboring countries. Its work has resulted in significantly shrinking the malaria map in these areas.
During this time, the J.C. Flowers Foundation has also supported work in New York prisons and among parolees. In 2010, the Foundation initiated a new project to help re-integrate recent parolees into Harlem’s vibrant community, which has some of the country’s highest rates of previous incarceration and re-incarceration in the country. The Foundation provides financial, technical and operational assistance to the Re-Entry Family and Faith Circles of Support, an innovative collaboration between government, academic and faith-based organizations, which offers a network of services to returning parolees.
For more information, please visit www.jcflowersfoundation.org or call +1.212.404.6890.