Olyset Net; the Key Tool for Prevention

On January 28, 2005, Sumitomo Chemical announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland its sponsorship of the Africa Live 2005 Roll Back Malaria Concert organized by the United Nations Foundation. The two-day music event will be held in Dakar, Senegal on March 12-13 as part of the World Health Organization’s Roll Back Malaria Campaign.

The eight-hour concert will feature the renowned African musician, Youssou N’Dour as well as numerous other performers. Through the medium of music, the event is designed to enlighten people of the importance of malaria prevention and encourage the use of bed netting as an effective means to prevent infection. The concert will be broadcast throughout Africa, Europe and Asia, and is expected to have a combined audience of more than 450 million people.

Today, it is estimated that 300 million people contract malaria worldwide each year, and over one million die from the disease, mostly African children under five years of age making up a particularly large portion of the fatalities. The Roll Back Malaria Campaign was introduced to respond to this formidable crisis, and aims through a variety of activities to reduce the number of malaria victims in half from today’s levels by 2010.

In order to prevent the transmission of the disease from malaria carrying mosquitoes, Sumitomo Chemical has developed the Olyset Net* mosquito bed netting. The distinct feature of this unique technology is to embed insecticide directly into the fibers of the net material. Sumitomo has supplied the product mainly to the African region, and it has received high praise for its superior effectiveness in preventing mosquito contact as well as for its environmental safety. In September 2003, at the request of the World Health Organization, Sumitomo Chemical provided the Olyset technology at no cost to A to Z Textile Mills Ltd. in Tanzania, a local netting manufacturer, to establish a base for mass production. We intend to expand production capacity to respond to growth in demand in the future.

Our sponsorship of the Africa Live Concert is to encourage the widespread use of mosquito netting as part of our overall effort to support the Roll Back Malaria Campaign. Sumitomo Chemical intends to continue its work to prevent the spread of malaria through a wide variety of activities, and to help make a better life a reality for people around the world.

* A Long Lasting Insecticidal Net (LLIN) approved for use by the WHO. The insecticide Permethrin is woven directly into the resin used to make the netting fibers, and retains its effectiveness for a minimum of 5 years under normal conditions. The material also maintains its chemical properties even after washing. The netting was featured in a recent issue of Time Magazine as one of the “Coolest Inventions of 2004.”

WEF Africa Live Announcement – January 2005