In the World Health Organisation (WHO) World Malaria 2018 Report it was stated that Global response to malaria had stalled and that the level of investment in malaria control remains inadequate. The 10 highest-burden African countries saw an estimated 3.5 million more malaria cases in 2017 compared with the previous year.
“Although there were an estimated 20 million fewer malaria cases in 2017 than in 2010, data for the period 2015–2017 highlights that no significant progress in reducing global malaria cases was made,” says Quentin van den Bergh, director at Lumin8.
Lumin8 is an organisation born from the combined passion and disciplines of Inventworx Group (Pty) Ltd and Projects24 CC. “What started as a ‘shotgun approach’ mosquito trap, has transpired into so much more than just a single-use product. Today, we are finding ways to counteract and control the scourge of malaria and we ultimately want to inspire other people and organisations to do the same. This means using one’s skills, experience, network and influence to make a difference, whether by producing a product for better healthcare, to improve public health, uplift a community or offer educational media to the people concerned,” says Van den Bergh.
Lumin8 is focused on:
- Developing products that change and ultimately save lives.
- Using their skills in product development and manufacturing to provide solutions that assist research, vector surveillance and monitoring, and achieve reduction of Anophele mosquitos by means of population control
- Collaborating with its extensive local and global network, leveraging and enabling benefits for all parties. An example is publicity via social media, video documentaries, interviews, and active journalism. Some sponsors and donors to date include mining company Exxaro, pharmaceutical companies Lamar International and Forrester Pharma, as well as Canon.
- Working closely, in the field and in the commercial sectors, with scientists, entomologists and other researchers, to understand the real challenges faced and finding solutions to overcome these.
- Working closely with communities in Africa and rural areas, building rapport and engaging effectively with the people.
- Challenging other organisations and businesses to focus on effective impact in communities in all areas of life.
To date, most of the funding to advance in the field of malaria eradication has been made available through the Bill Gates Foundation. However, there simply isn’t enough funding available for challenges such as malaria to be funded by just a few donors. “This is a global issue and everyone can make a difference, be it a financial contribution, skills contribution, or supply of fuel, transport and equipment. We are challenging every organisation, company and individual, to make a decisive decision to get involved with real change, real collaboration, and real impact on the lives of people,” says Van den Bergh.
Van den Bergh says that the team has been amazed at how so many people, businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals, want to be involved and contribute to a good cause, but they seldom know how to engage or participate. “This is where we can assist in helping to point people in the right direction. Remember, it starts one person at a time. A health problem like malaria is too large, spread over too large an area, including too many different people and cultures, for any single organisation or discipline to combat and really have an effective impact. Therefore, if we want to eradicate malaria, we will have to bring many disciplines, extensive knowledge, experience and a multitude of solutions together.”