Fight malaria with desirable products

Published in Aid & Health by

‘We look to the politicians, the NGO’s and the scientists to come up with the answers. But what about the rest of us?’, Neil Cummings, creative director at Wolff Olins, writes on the design agency’s blog. To prove the creative industry’s abilities to address social issues, Wolff Olins launched Code M to fight malaria.

‘What about the other capital that we have in abundance that can be donated?’, Cummings continues. ‘What about, for example, the time and innovation of Britain’s creative industry? What about the world’s untapped creative energy?

‘We solve problems every day, we find solutions that those closest to the challenge cannot see, and we are judged on how well we connect individuals to ideas, products and services. Surely there’s an opportunity to unleash a creative grenade of seasoned problem solving on Malaria? Social interventions, to-the-heart communications, and behavioural reformations.’

As one of the leading brand agencies in the world, Wolff Olins that since April is led by Nigerian-raised Ije Nwokorie, decided to match words with action by initiating Code M. Code M is a brand shared by the design agency with Malaria No More and product designers from MAP and the Royal College of Art designed to pit creativity against malaria. Last year malaria killed 627,000 people, 86 percent of whom were under five and lived in Africa.

The idea is to connect experts, creatives and retailers to develop desirable products that combat malaria. In fact, the products should become so irresistible they spark consumer demand in both the developing world and the first world.

Currently people are invited to join the movement through the website. Next April a series of ‘creativity vs. malaria’ make days will be launched as well as opportunities for brands and businesses to partner in the design of products and raising awareness.

Update: A new malaria report by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that ‘the number people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, according to the World malaria report 2014. Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47% worldwide and by 54% in the WHO African Region – where about 90% of malaria deaths occur.’

WHO reports these figures: ‘Globally, 3.2 billion people in 97 countries and territories are at risk of being infected with malaria. In 2013, there were an estimated 198 million malaria cases worldwide (range 124-283 million), 82% of which were in the WHO African region. Malaria was responsible for an estimated 584 000 deaths worldwide in 2013 (range: 367 000 – 755 000), killing an estimated 453 000 children under five years of age.’

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