Public and private collaboration is advancing the DRC’s fight
against malaria with automated reading of diagnostic tests
and real-time reporting technology
LUBUMBASHI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OFCONGO – Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF), and Lars-Eric Johansson, Chief Executive Officer, today announced the expansion of the Know for Sure campaign, a groundbreaking initiative sponsored by Ivanhoe and Zijin Mining to help control malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The project uses Deki Readers – mobile smart devices – to help health workers more accurately conduct and analyze tests to diagnose malaria, while providing quality, actionable data to the DRC national Ministry of Health through an online healthcare management portal.
The expansion will support a 370% increase in the total number of health facilities using Deki Readers, from 54 to 254, by the end of this year. The program is being conducted in the provinces of Haut-Katanga and Lualaba – two malaria-burdened regions that also host Ivanhoe’s Kipushi Project and the Ivanhoe-Zijin joint venture Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Since its launch in August 2015, the Know for Sure campaign has demonstrated its capability to strengthen the DRC government’s capacity to rapidly and reliably confirm whether patients seeking care have malaria, while at the same time gathering a wealth of new information for the Health Ministry.
Of the 16,962 patients tested up until November 21, 2016, 49% reported negative for malaria, thus saving unnecessary presumptive treatment. Results also revealed that 60% of children aged under five, with fever, were positive for malaria – a critical finding that has been shared with the government through the online healthcare management portal.
Fio Corporation, of Toronto, Canada, is providing the technology and Chemonics International, a Washington, USA-based international development company, is providing in-field training, service and support.
“Program funding from Ivanhoe and Zijin has enabled Fio Corporation to install advanced technology right in the communities and generate and deliver critical data that we were not previously able to access,” said Dr. Ghislain Makan, a provincial coordinator with the DRC’s National Malaria Control Program.
”Now we have essential tools that empower us to take the human error out of the testing process and gain access to more reliable records in real time.”
Despite a significant decrease in the incidence of malaria in recent years, the World Health Organization reports that the DRC still accounts for the second-highest number of estimated malaria deaths globally. The disease is responsible for 19% of deaths among children under five in the DRC. However, malaria can be successfully treated when detected early and accurately.
For the first time, DRC Health Ministry staff are able to remotely monitor, in real time, whether healthcare workers in the field are following testing and treatment protocols. Managers also may view reports on commodity stock, bed-net distribution and test results.
In addition to building government detection and treatment capacities, the Know for Sure campaign is giving Ivanhoe Mines a better understanding of how malaria impacts its employees, their families and other residents in communities near Ivanhoe’s two major DRC projects in the Kipushi Health Zone, in Haut-Katanga Province, and the Kanzenze Health Zone in Lualaba Province.
“The success of the Know For Sure initiative is a tribute to the cooperation between the government and the private sector, working together in everybody’s interest to end malaria,” said Dr. Guy Muswil, Ivanhoe’s Corporate Social Investment Manager in the DRC.
“We invite other interested partners to join the campaign and help us to build on our early achievements. Joining forces is the only way to overcome the shared burden of malaria.”
Achievements by the Know for Sure initiative, so far:
- 540 healthcare workers have been trained on the use of Deki Readers, with a total of 660 to be trained by the end of 2016.
- 30 DRC government officials have been trained on the online healthcare management portal to improve data-driven decision-making.
- 15 local “Master Trainers” have been trained to support local healthcare workers on the use of Deki Readers.
- From January 2016 to date, malaria has been detected in just under half of all cases analyzed with the diagnostic test readers; however, the positivity rate for patients under the age of five has been 60%.
“Fio’s technology is delivering timely, actionable insights to stakeholders in the DRC,” said Elana Hazghia, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Fio. “By adopting this technology, the DRC government is positioning itself as a leader in advancing new technologies for evidence-based malaria control. We look forward to continuing our work with the Know for Sure campaign partners.”
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is advancing its three principal projects in Sub-Saharan Africa: Mine development at the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper discovery on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex; mine development and exploration at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project on the Central African Copperbelt in the DRC; and upgrading at the historic, high-grade Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine, also on the DRC’s Copperbelt. For details, visit www.ivanhoemines.com.
About Fio Corporation
Fio is a Canadian company solving global healthcare management challenges through technology that helps health workers deliver better, more accessible care. Fio’s products and services are built on the first integrated platform to guide services, interconnect technologies, and deliver actionable insights. Headquartered in Toronto, Fio works with a diverse range of public and private organizations to strengthen decentralized healthcare delivery, management, and data in developed and frontier markets worldwide.
Chemonics International is an employee-owned international development and sustainability consulting company headquartered in Washington, D.C. Through the provision of assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation services, Chemonics delivers innovative solutions to complex social, environmental and economic challenges to create shared value, sustainable impact and measurable returns for the communities in which the company works. With more than 40 years of global experience, including 25 years in the DRC, Chemonics is proud to lend its multi-disciplinary solutions, world-class management systems, and deep knowledge and networks in the DRC to support the successful implementation of the Ivanhoe-Fio Project.
Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834
North America: Bob Williamson +1.604.512.4856
South Africa: Jeremy Michaels +27.82.939.4812
Elana Hazghia, +1.647.649.1528, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oscar Pyng Mutanda, +1.202.955.3300, email@example.com
Certain statements in this news release may constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including, without limitation, statements regarding the planned expansion of an advanced healthcare initiative in the ongoing campaign against malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Ivanhoe Mines, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “forecast”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. These statements reflect Ivanhoe’s current expectations regarding future events, performance and results and speak only as of the date of this news release.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of Ivanhoe believes are reasonable assumptions, Ivanhoe cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, Ivanhoe does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.