"This is the right moment to ensure we don't lose the momentum, that we keep the commitment from the funders, the scientific communities and from governments."
Ingrid has “been aware of the shadow of malaria” throughout her life. While growing up in northern Cameroon - several of her family members including young children have died from this treatable and preventable disease. A disease that is a huge emotional and financial burden for half of the world’s population living under the threat of malaria.
Children are one of the most vulnerable groups to malaria - it still kills a child every 2 minutes. When Ingrid became a mother, the responsibility of having a young child to protect increased her fear of this deadly disease. She was constantly worried about how long her daughter stayed out during the hours mosquitoes are most prevalent, what clothes she would wear to keep the mosquitoes off and ensuring she was sleeping under a bed net.
Ingrid has contracted malaria several times. But the most severe episode happened during an international business trip very far from home. Her knowledge of the malaria symptoms motivated her to seek treatment quickly. She could identify severe joint and muscular pains as symptoms so she could get appropriate quickly and recover within hours. This is one of the reasons Ingrid is passionate about educating people about the speed of the malaria parasite, how it can quickly become dangerous, and how new drugs can change and save people’s lives.
Ingrid has dedicated her career for the past 15 years to support some of the world’s leading healthcare companies, including Novartis, Sanofi and GSK, in building and accelerating their projects across Africa. Ingrid has been involved in launching and managing several key malaria drugs in the continent such as ‘artemether injectable’ – a form of medication used for severe cases of malaria. Currently, at the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), Ingrid works closely with industrial partners and funders to ensure vital early and broad access to innovative insecticides designed to help lead progress towards global malaria eradication.
Ingrid wants to inspire and motivate young scientists from all over the world to contribute to the fight against malaria. Malaria is one of the oldest diseases known to mankind - science and innovation has meant for the first time in history we can say we can end this deadly disease in our lifetimes. “We are in a position now where we have a multitude of innovations in the pipeline, new drugs, new bed nets, new insecticides which will accelerate our progress to end malaria. We now need support and commitment in making the funds available to roll out these solutions in the places that need it most”.
Ingrid is honoured to feature in this year’s Malaria Must Die Campaign- A World Without Malaria:
I am here to inspire leaders around the world to commit to our mission to defeat malaria. I am part of this campaign as I believe it is very critical that we keep the momentum in defeating malaria if we want to win this battle.
Ingrid highlights that this campaign launches at one of the most critical points in history, as together we have the power to defeat this disease or risk losing the gains we have made to date. “We are in a critical moment with the Covid pandemic. In the last 20 years, we have made tremendous progress against malaria - with cases dropping by nearly half since the beginning of this century. However, we are currently at risk to lose all these efforts that we have made. This is the right moment to ensure we don't lose the momentum, that we keep the commitment from the funders, the scientific communities and from governments. It is critical to keep malaria high in the agenda.”