As part of its CSR activities, Sumitomo Chemical has undertaken various social action projects. The centerpiece of these efforts is our malaria control initiative for supporting Africa’s development. Malaria, an infectious disease transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, has been a major impediment to Africa’s endeavor to end poverty, and its elimination is identified as one of the most pressing challenges facing the human race. Sumitomo Chemical has been making a significant contribution to the control of malaria by supplying Olyset® Net, an insecticidal mosquito net that it developed in-house to protect people from malaria-carrying mosquitoes, to Africa as well as Asia. We are also manufacturing Olyset Net in Africa, thereby helping to create local jobs while promoting the growth of the regional economy.
Sumitomo Chemical’s Olyset Net has revolutionized the global fight against malaria. Protecting nearly 800 million people since it received WHO recommendation in 2001, the highly durable and award-winning LLIN (long lasting insecticidal net) uses hybrid polymer and controlled insecticide release technology to repel, kill and prevent mosquitos from biting for up to five years.
Origins of the Olyset Net
The development of the Olyset Net started when a Sumitomo Chemical employee heard a report on the spread of Malaria in Saudi Arabia. The report moved him to make efforts to combat malaria his lifetime work. It also inspired him to take up independent research into malaria prevention, which he pursued in addition to his regular work responsibilities. His commitment and enthusiasm were infectious and gradually inspired others. As the number of people who understood and shared his vision increased, ventilation and cost issues were resolved and the Olyset Net eventually developed into an independent business that embodied Sumitomo Chemical’s business principles.
The Olyset Net can be considered one of the best examples of a business that symbolizes our “Creative Hybrid Chemistry,” where one Sumitomo Chemical employee’s commitment and enthusiasm encouraged others to communicate closely across divisions and organizations, bringing benefit not only to the company, but also to society.