10 June 2020 | News
An equivalent of 1 million USD committed in aid towards various activities
Eisai Co., Ltd. announced on 10 June 2020 that it has committed the equivalent of 1 million USD in aid towards various activities in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection in Africa, beginning with the activities described below. Through this support Eisai will contribute to mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus infection in Africa as well as preventing delays in efforts for the elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
Support for Continuation of Activities for Elimination of NTDs
Eisai has conducted support up to this point for efforts towards the elimination of NTDs, including production of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) tablets as treatment for the NTD lymphatic filariasis (LF) in its Vizag, India plant and free provision thereof through an elimination program conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as proceeding with the development of new treatments for NTDs such as mycetoma. Due to the current spread of the novel coronavirus infection, particularly in Africa, efforts towards the elimination of NTDs are being severely influenced, including cases of delays in clinical development of new NTD treatments and inability to conduct Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in areas where NTDs are prevalent. In order to sustain efforts for elimination of NTDs in Africa, Eisai is planning support for local medical facilities with the cooperation of the Africa regional office of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a non-profit drug research and development organization which conducts the development of new treatments. Eisai has now begun provision of Personal Protection Equipment (masks, goggles, face shields, etc.) to core hospitals in Africa for research of infectious diseases where clinical research is to be conducted on treatments for NTDs.
Support for Development and Popularization of Mobile Health Platform
Eisai has committed a donation to Amref Health Africa, one of the largest international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) based in Africa, which conducts support for health and medical care. This donation is to support Amref's development and popularization of its mobile health platform LEAP in sub-Saharan countries including Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. The LEAP platform is aimed at increasing awareness and access to the latest accurate information relating to the prevention of various infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, based on Amref Health Africa's healthcare training pedagogy and content. In addition to disease information and group chat functions, LEAP features a short-messaging-service (SMS) and a two-way voice messaging service which enable use even in environments with poor internet. LEAP is considered to be useful for constructing relationships between citizens and healthcare providers that contribute to appropriate community response towards diseases. With the rapid uptake of digital and mobile-based technologies in Africa, it is expected that LEAP will be an important and useful tool in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection and prevention of infectious diseases.