LONDON: A US government-backed global network battling malaria is set to hire agency help to boost its fight against the disease.
Homing Endonuclease Genes Consortium, an international research group led by Imperial College London, is poised to award a six-figure sum to an agency to help it promote its work following a five-way pitch process.
This will include stakeholder engagement, with the winning agency understood to have a specific focus on a number of African countries.
The nonprofit, thought to include Cambridge University and the University of Washington, focuses on altering the genes of mosquitoes.
The communications hunt follows a warning last year from research group Malaria Atlas Trust that the $2.55 billion spent in 2010 was less than half the estimated amount needed to control the disease globally. It is estimated that malaria kills 1.2 million people a year.
A well-placed agency source said that along with raising awareness, the brief will focus on fundraising.
“It will involve a wide number of international stakeholders, with communications tailored to an individual country's needs,” the source said. “However, expertise in Africa will be important, with organizations in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda a specific target.”
The research network is understood to receive financial backing from the Global Health Initiative, which was launched in 2009 to strengthen the US government's existing international health programs.
Simon Levey, research media officer in Imperial College London's communications and public affairs division, confirmed the body had met agencies about an “international project with a wide range of stakeholders.”
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.