On World Malaria Day, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) announced its commitment to create a malaria free India by 2030. In April 2016, GCPL commissioned a project on the elimination of mosquito borne endemic diseases (EMBED), which aims to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by vector borne diseases. The project focuses on improving the knowledge and awareness of communities through behaviour change campaigns, thus empowering communities at the bottom of the pyramid to take charge of their own protection. In its first phase, EMBED covered the Mandla and Dindori districts in Madhya Pradesh, a state with one of the highest burdens of malaria in India. Currently, in its second phase the project has reached 3,000 villages, 7 lakh households and 35,00,000 people across 9 districts in Madhya Pradesh.
The project is in line with the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines India’s agenda for elimination of the disease by 2030. It also collaborates with the government on environmental management and vector control activities as part of Swachh Bharat.
Commenting on the project, Vivek Gambhir, Managing Director, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, said:
“As a company, Godrej has always actively championed social responsibility. We are deeply committed to driving the social progress of the communities that our businesses operate in. We have a ‘shared value’ approach to business growth and innovation. The idea is to link business success with social progress.
As leaders in the household insecticides category, we are committed to creating safe, cost effective solutions and extending our full support to the government to control the spread of vector borne diseases. We need to cater to bottom of the pyramid consumers, who disproportionately suffer from mosquito-related diseases, especially malaria. 95% of our population in India resides in malaria prone areas. In rural areas in particular, the penetration of household insecticides is very low. 83% of rural India or approximately 40% of the households in the country, don’t use these products because the options available are expensive or require electricity. So, to tackle this problem, we created Good knight Fast Card, a revolutionary paper-based mosquito repellent at one rupee. Our idea was to launch a product that would break the price barrier, cater to the more vulnerable sections of our society, work instantly and not require electricity. Fast Card has been a runaway success. We have also recently added a range of outdoor and personal repellents to our portfolio.
We are optimistic about the progress made by EMBED in Madhya Pradesh. We will continue to invest in expanding its reach. In the second phase, we have targeted 7 additional districts (Jhabua, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Singrauli, Alirajpur and Balaghat) with high malaria burdens, and aim to cover over 2500 villages across these areas.”
Vikas Goswami, Head – Good & Green, Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies, added:
“Behaviour change is the cornerstone of EMBED. It has helped empower communities with the right information and encourage patterns of preventive usage. We have been working closely with local governments and believe that by building strong partnerships and creating community engagement, we can make huge strides in our efforts towards malaria elimination by 2030. EMBED currently addresses ~36% of the malaria burden in Madhya Pradesh and has recorded a 2% increase in testing for malaria in the pilot districts of Mandla and Dindori. Our overall goal is to improve knowledge and awareness related to vector borne diseases, increase access to affordable mosquito repellent products, and help reduce economic burden and loss in productivity due to the casualties caused by these diseases.”