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    Olam marks World Malaria Day 2017

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    World Malaria Day, on 25 April every year, is about closing the gap in malaria prevention. Although the rate of new cases of malaria fell by 21% globally between 2010 and 2015, an estimated 43% of people are at risk in sub-Saharan Africa.*

    In many of the geographies in which Olam operates, malaria is a daily risk for communities. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal with diverse symptoms ranging from fever, muscular pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, anaemia, convulsions and coma. In turn, this impacts on the ability of farmers and communities to work and improve their livelihoods.

    This year will see the continued roll out the Olam Healthy Living Campaign which is designed to help combat the disease at the community level. In 2016, through a series of sensitisation sessions held in a number of countries, we gave advice on how to prevent malaria. Overall, we reached 104,000 people in Africa with sensitisation, screening and treatments. This involved distributing mosquito nets to the Republic of Congo Wood Products personnel and to cocoa cooperatives and their communities in Côte d’Ivoire Cocoa and Tanzania. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that 69% of cases of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa can be prevented with insecticide-treated nets. Ghana Cocoa also donated malaria drugs to local health services in Ghana and at our large-scale palm and rubber plantations in Gabon we have built modern, well-equipped clinics which are staffed by a permanent medical team who provide free healthcare to over 6,500 employees.

    Overall the Olam Healthy Living Campaign reached 190,000 people in Africa in 2016 and is aiming to positively impact 250,000 people by 2020, including community beneficiaries of health, water and sanitation infrastructure, health education campaigns, HIV testing, health check-ups, access to insurance initiatives, and similar services.

    In 2017, Olam will continue to work to bridge the gap in malaria prevention in farming communities. In Tanzania, we are aiming to sensitise 2,000 people with the distribution of mosquito nets, malaria check-ups and treatment while in Cameroon we plan to vaccinate 500 workers against the disease.

    * World Health Organisation, http://www.who.int/campaigns/malaria-day/2017/en/

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