Since 2004, MCD Global Health has had a presence in Equatorial Guinea, a country located on the western coast of Africa, in the areas of malaria, cervical cancer, health systems strengthening, and pandemic response and preparedness.
Our initial projects began as malaria-control efforts under the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP), which lasted from 2004 through 2018, and then evolved into the Bioko Island Malaria Elimination Project (BIMEP) that continues to this day.
The BIMCP utilized indoor residual spraying (IRS) to kill malaria-transmitting mosquitoes as well as distributing long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs), conducting entomological monitoring, diagnosing and treating malaria, and implementing a monitoring and evaluation system. Such interventions resulted in a 55% reduction of malaria prevalence on Bioko Island in children 2 to 14 years old.
In 2013, the Equatoguinean Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EGMVI) was established to develop a next generation malaria vaccine candidate with the goal of preventing blood-stage infection through a whole parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSPZ) vaccine. The EGMVI established clinical research capacity by developing personnel, infrastructure, regulatory processes, a clinical laboratory and national research institute, and more.
The BIMEP evolved from these two initiatives to eliminate malaria from the island. The BIMEP continues to implement vector control, surveillance, case management, and behavior change communication activities as well as investigate potential innovative tools and approaches toward malaria elimination from the island.
Through all of this work being done in the realm of malaria, MCD has and continues to assist in strengthening Equatorial Guinea’s health systems by training health workers to identify and treat cases of malaria, building up the quality, knowledge, and services of health facilities, and ensuring that all parts of the health system are up to global standards.
But we didn’t stop at just malaria.
In 2016, Noble Energy EG Ltd (A Chevron Company), an oil and gas company that operates around Bioko Island, began funding MCD’s Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment (CCST) project in Equatorial Guinea. Our team has trained hundreds of health professionals in using the ‘screen-and-treat' approach, a cost-effective and simple method to screen for potential cancerous lesions of the uterus.
As the project grew, Enhanced Visual Assessment through MobileODT began to be used to collect data and visuals of patients who were examined by trained health workers. On top of these new advances and thanks to donations from Chevron, MCD and the Government of Equatorial Guinea is set to launch their first HPV vaccination campaign for girls, serving as a form of primary prevention against various cancers.
Through all of these areas that we provide our expertise on in Equatorial Guinea, our teams were able to successfully pivot and adapt to dealing with unpredicted disruptors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an essential partner, we responded to the unexpected.
MCD leveraged its experience and partnerships to implement strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Equatorial Guinea in 2020. The Baney Research Center, a hospital and research laboratory complex in the Baney District of Bioko Island, was established in 2019 mainly for malaria diagnostics and research but was transformed into the primary COVID-19 testing facility on the island after being prompted by the Government of Equatorial Guinea. Overall, 268,000 PCR tests for COVID-19 were performed at the research center.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatened the continuation of operations for critical infrastructure companies that conduct work in Equatorial Guinea, including Noble Energy.