Sept. 21, 2010 – New York — Sumitomo Chemical today announced it will make a new donation of Olyset® Nets to every Millennium Village in Africa in 2010 – 2011 — a total of 400,000 nets, worth more than 2 million dollars. This follows a previous donation of 330,000 nets in 2005, which contributed to significant declines in the burden of malaria in the Millennium Villages. The new nets will be distributed as replacements for existing nets and to households that have not received nets previously.
Currently, 200-300 million people worldwide become infected with malaria every year and nearly one million of them die from the disease. Malaria prevents adults from working and children from going to school, locking whole families and communities into poverty. Poverty hampers treatment and prevention, which leads to further spread of the disease. Economists estimate that malaria costs Africa more than 12 billion dollars in lost GDP each year.
The Olyset Net developed by Sumitomo Chemical is a highly durable and long-lasting mosquito net that retains its efficacy for over 5 years even with repeated washing. It is an economical and effective way of protecting people from the mosquitoes that transmit malaria, and its use is therefore recommended by the WHO. Olyset Net manufacturing operations in Africa now produce 29 million nets per year, approximately half of the company’s global capacity of 60 million nets per year, generating sustainable business and creating more than 7000 local jobs.
“The Millennium Development Goals are not abstractions, or mere numbers and statistics; they are about real lives being transformed by our shared efforts,” said Hiromasa Yonekura, Chairman of Sumitomo Chemical. “The Millennium Development Goals are closely connected with one another, and because the Goals are so intertwined, making progress in one goal can bring about multiplying, synergistic effects. We must remember that we will not be able to realize sustainable growth without reaching the MDGs and achieving inclusive, pro-poor development.”
“The leadership of Sumitomo Chemical has been unparalleled. Through its ingenious manufacturing techniques, Sumitomo Chemical’s engineers made the breakthrough that gave the world long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, a crucial advance on the path to malaria control. Then through visionary leadership, Sumitomo Chemical championed the rapid uptake of those nets, through remarkable initiatives to license and produce the nets in Africa, through a bold scaling up of global production, and through great corporate philanthropy, such as Sumitomo Chemical’s remarkable leadership from the very start of the Millennium Villages Project,” said Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. “This remarkable and creative leadership has put Sumitomo Chemical in the very forefront of the global campaign against malaria, and has earned the company deeply deserved global praise and recognition.”
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About Sumitomo Chemical
Founded in 1913, Sumitomo Chemical Company has grown to be one of Japan’s leading chemical companies with annual sales amounting to US $17.4 billion and 28,000 employees. Today, Sumitomo Chemical includes some 100 companies operating globally in six business sectors: basic chemicals, petrochemicals, fine chemicals, IT-related chemicals, agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals. As an expanding global business which pursues cutting-edge research and development, utilizing a variety of technologies cultivated over many years in a diverse range of fields. Sumitomo Chemical continually strives to contribute to the sustainable development of society throughout the world. For more information about Olyset Net, visit www.olyset.net
® Olyset net is a registered trademark of Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.
About Millennium Promise
The mission of Millennium Promise is to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals – eight globally endorsed objectives addressing the multiple causes of extreme poverty – in Africa by 2015. To that end, Millennium Promise uses a holistic approach to work with impoverished communities, national and local governments and partner organizations to implement high-impact programs aimed at stopping the cycle of poverty. By engaging donor nations, corporations and the general public in this effort, our work is premised on the belief that, for the first time in history, our generation has the opportunity to end extreme poverty, hunger and disease disparities. For more information, visit www.millenniumpromise.org