In 2008, BASF provided 100,000 Interceptor® long-lasting insecticidal nets free of charge to the relief efforts following cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. The company channeled 75,000 nets through the well-known UK-based emergency response agency "The MENTOR Initiative" and another 25,000 nets through the Thailand Red Cross.
100,000 malaria nets for cyclone victims in Myanmar
After the tropical cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in May 2008, and caused one of the worst natural disasters in the recorded history of the country, there was an increase in malaria and dengue fever. As the flood waters receded, mosquitoes found a prime breeding environment in the new wet surfaces left behind.
This dynamic made the distribution and use of Interceptor® mosquito nets a vital part of the emergency relief effort, particularly because of its efficacy; Interceptor® continues to kill mosquitoes even after 20 washes.
"We have been working with The MENTOR Initiative for years on important malaria control initiatives," says Egon Weinmueller from BASF's public health business. "When it comes to disaster relief, they have the skills and network to get our malaria control products to people in need and make sure that recipients understand how to use them. When we understood that the situation in Myanmar was about to get worse, we immediately decided to make a contribution that would benefit affected communities."
Speaking at the time, Richard Allan, Director of The MENTOR Initiative, said "Malaria is the leading cause of mortality in Myanmar. The transmission of malaria will soon predominate across the flooded areas of the Ayeyarwady delta and Yangon District, and if not effectively controlled, it will cause large scale suffering and death."
The situation called for the attention of every stakeholder able to help prevent the spread of the disease. "BASF's contribution is well-celebrated," said Allan. "No adequate malaria vector control or means of effective case management is in place in the worst affected flood sites and for many, Interceptor® could be the single source of protection."