As Henry Ford once said: "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." This couldn't be truer than in the case for ending malaria; working in partnership with business and wider society is crucial if we are to beat this killer disease which tragically claims the life of a child almost every minute.
The power of partnerships between governments, businesses, scientists, charities and those on the frontline has delivered astronomical progress - cutting malaria deaths by more than 60% in the last 15 years. Leveraging the power of business networks and their influence is integral to Malaria No More UK's raison d'etre. Afterall, it was Wall Street Pioneer Ray Chambers and business leader Peter Chernin who joined forces to create a charity that brought in the private sector to help confront head on this urgent public health crisis. Why? Because the economic arguments are indisputable. Malaria is a major cause of poverty in Africa, costing the continent approximately £8 billion a year. But, when the return on investment in fighting malaria is 36:1 - that's an outstanding payback by anyone's measure and a compelling rationale for business.
Malaria No More UK launched in 2009 and we've been building a network of proud and committed corporate partners, who play an integral role in our work and future success. Rentokil Initial (the leading pest control, hygiene and workwear services company) is a prime example. This week we celebrate reaching a fundraising milestone of £90,000 as the pest control business Rentokil marks its 90th anniversary. The company has released 'The Pest Detectives' a book recounting the tales of the modern day Pied Pipers and snake charmers of Rentokil. For every copy sold, £1 is being donated to Malaria No More UK's work. A 90th birthday celebration was held in Parliament, where back in 1925 Rentokil's founder Professor Harold Maxwell-Lefroy saved Westminster Hall from the Deathwatch Beetle. MPs and other guests bravely sampled crunchy critters from Rentokil's 'Pestaurant'. They weren't half as bad as I'd expected!
Rentokil Initial has worked to keep pests at bay all over the world. Now they are bringing the power of the world's leading pest control company working in over 60 countries to fight a disease that is prevalent in over 100 countries. They have committed to tackling the deadliest pest of all - the mosquito.
Rentokil Initial are mobilising their business networks and publicly committing themselves to the goal of ending malaria. As a charity we are small, just 13 staff. Through partnerships with companies like Rentokil Initial we are mighty. Coming together is one thing - but working in partnership towards a shared end goal is the key to success. Partners like Rentokil Initial can put us out of business - by helping to make malaria no more.
It's true what they say, there is strength in numbers. And we are committed to building a network of malaria champions with business leaders, philanthropists, innovators, decision makers and governments to combine efforts and win the battle against malaria once and for all. Come and join us!