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The Africa Technical Research Centre (ATRC) – Leading the Way in Insecticide Innovation for Public Health and Agriculture in Africa

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Through its longstanding culture of innovation and research, Sumitomo Chemical Company (SCC) invented Olyset® Net*, a long lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) that, at the time of its launch upon obtaining WHO recommendation in 2001, was hailed as a technological breakthrough and recognized as one of the most effective preventive tools against malaria. SCC's cooperation with AtoZ Textile Mills Ltd (AtoZ) of Arusha, Tanzania started in 2003 with the pilot production of Olyset Nets with an initial capacity of only 300,000 bed nets per annum. This later grew to 30 million bed nets annually, the capacity being shared between the SCC / AtoZ 50/50 joint venture company, Vector Health International Ltd (VHI), AtoZ and its associate company Net Health. This partnership between AtoZ and SCC has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and created a wide variety of employment opportunities for over 8000 Tanzanians. Despite the major gains in the fight against malaria, SCC and AtoZ recognized that the gains would not be sustained with the emerging and very real threat of insecticide resistance. The consensus was that combating synthetic pyrethroid and other classes of insecticide resistance would require continuous R&D. SCC and AtoZ therefore established a research centre that would serve as an innovation and R&D platform for sub-Saharan Africa. It was agreed that the R&D centre would be strategically located in Tanzania, next to the production facility, in order to develop new technologies which could be readily transferred into manufacturing locally.
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Keywords: ATOZ; ATRC; OLYSET; SCC; VHI

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2014

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