The mosquito might be more commonly known in the U.S. for being a pesky, bloodsucking nuisance, especially during the summertime and after rainfall. But as a carrier of malaria, these small flying insects can lead to death if left untreated. While malaria is not ranked among the top most deadly diseases in the U.S., it has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Africa, and worldwide, millions more are infected by the disease characterized by symptoms such as fever, chills and flu-like illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, a wave of malaria control efforts has spread across the globe, and an oil and gas company is among those putting large amounts of money toward the cause. ExxonMobil announced April 25 more than $10 million in new grants to support lifesaving programs in areas where the disease is prominent. “We have seen firsthand how the lives of ExxonMobil workers, families and communities are directly harmed by malaria—and improved by the efforts of our partners on the front line fighting this disease,” Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation, said in a Business Wire news release. “Together, we are investing in sustainable solutions to help people live a healthy life without the burden of malaria.” The announcement came on World Malaria Day, an observance started by member states of the World Health Organization to put the need for malaria prevention and control in the spotlight. As stated in the news release, ExxonMobil’s 2014 malaria grantees include: • Grassroot Soccer. The organization will use the power of soccer to attract people to educate youth in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania about the importance of arming themselves and their communities from malaria; • Seed Global Health. Medical volunteers from the U.S. will help train health care professionals in tropical disease settings; • Harvard Malaria Initiative. Funds will be used to support Dr. Regina Rabinovich as the ExxonMobil Malaria scholar-in-residence at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she is advancing innovative strategies to combat malaria; • Cameroon’s Business Coalition Against Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. The coalition aims to “strengthen coordination between the private-sector response to malaria and other serious diseases;” • Norwegian Red Cross. The organization plans to conduct a mobile phone malaria survey on the use of bed nets, diagnostics and approved malaria treatments in certain West Africa communities; and • PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. The grant will go toward educating and training African health officials and opinion leaders to “advocate for effective implementation policies in advance of the potential 2015 introduction of the first vaccine to protect against the disease.” Other recipients include Accordia Global Health Foundation, Africare, Global Health Corps, Jhpiego, UN Foundation—Nothing But Nets, Medicines for Malaria Venture, USAID—President’s Malaria Initiative, Oxford University, Population Services International and Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Pova para Povo, according to the release. As oil and gas companies reign in spending, it’s good to see that philanthropic efforts such as these are not being targeted. Causes such as eradicating malaria are worth continued pursuit. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide efforts to control and eliminate malaria have saved about 3.3 million lives since 2000. That has resulted in a 42% reduction of malaria mortality rates globally and a 49% reduction in Africa. Unfortunately, the organization reports that more cases still occur annually, and drug and insecticide resistance are posing threats to recent gains. So there is still more work to do, and donations and efforts by organizations and businesses can only help. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at vaddison@hartenergy.com.