Godrej's Project EMBED: A Transformative Force in Malaria Eradication

By auther pic. CSRBOX

October 3, 2023

Godrej's Project EMBED: A Transformative Force in Malaria Eradication


No matter the gender or age, malaria has a way of impacting every single demographic out there. However, it's the little ones and the expectant mothers who tend to be particularly susceptible to its grasp. India holds the distinction of being responsible for a mere 1.7% of the global malaria cases. 

When it comes to malaria-related deaths outside of the vast lands of sub-Saharan Africa, India claims a modest 1.2%. But hold your breath, for this captivating nation shoulders a staggering 85.2% of the entire malaria burden in the enchanting realm of Southeast Asia. Quite a feat, wouldn't you agree?

Malaria Prevalence in India

With over 20,000 deaths every year due to malaria, India continues to struggle with a severe public health issue. It may result in a number of potentially fatal consequences. India is responsible for 82.4% of all malaria deaths in 2021 and 79% of the malaria burden in southeast Asia.   By 2030, India wants to be completely rid of malaria, and various attempts have been made by the Indian government to achieve this goal. 


Malaria is primarily spread through the bite of an Anopheles mosquito that is infected. Mosquitoes with Plasmodium parasites carry the disease. The parasite is released into our bloodstream when this mosquito bites us, where it travels to the liver where it matures and starts to infect red blood cells. Typically, 10 days to 4 weeks after the infection, malaria symptoms start to appear.

Initiative EMBED: A Promise to Extinguish Malaria

The expansion of Project EMBED (Elimination of Mosquito Borne Endemic Diseases) to Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh has been announced by Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL). The project would encompass 200 villages each in the Bareilly and Badaun districts of Uttar Pradesh and the Bastar and Kondagaon districts of Chhattisgarh. 1,50,000 people who are at risk for malaria will be impacted by this expansion. In these two states, GCPL will collaborate closely with the Ministry of Health in the next few years to further scale up.


On April 25, 2017, World Malaria Day, GCPL vowed to assist India free of malaria by 2030 and launched Project EMBED, a program that aims to lower the morbidity and mortality brought on by vector-borne illnesses. The project focuses on behavior modification campaigns, education delivery, and awareness-raising efforts to empower communities at the base of the pyramid to manage their own security. 

Purpose of the EMBED Project

GCPL is making an attempt to help India reach its national objective of eradicating malaria by 2030 through the Elimination of Mosquito Borne Endemic Disease (EMBED) initiative. 

It aims to lower malaria-related morbidity and mortality by educating and informing populations through behavior change communication campaigns and enhancing the skills of healthcare professionals in case diagnosis and treatment. Family Health India (FHI) works in conjunction with the respective state departments of health and family welfare to implement the program. 

Phases of EMBED Project

The EMBED initiative successfully conquered the challenge of overcoming the community's perceptions about dengue and malaria in order to increase awareness and behavior toward preventable mosquito-borne diseases. The group went door-to-door in each town, spreading the word through community meetings, village nutrition days, and street plays on the importance of taking preventative measures.

They worked with community organizations and government agencies to accomplish this. The end goal was to encourage local participation in efforts to reduce the prevalence of dengue and malaria at both the individual and community levels.

EMBED's first phase included 207 villages in Madhya Pradesh's Mandla and Dindori districts, which have one of India's worst malaria loads. Within a year, there was an increase of 2% in malaria testing, an increase of 11% in the usage of bed nets or insect repellents, and 80% of the communities reported a decrease in the prevalence of malaria.


In its second phase, the initiative was expanded to 7 additional districts, including Jhabua, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Singrauli, Alirajpur, and Balaghat, covering 1,300 villages and 2,00,000 households with a high malaria burden. By March 2019, 81% of the communities reported having no incidences of malaria, and the use of bed nets or insect repellents had increased by 21%.


EMBED was created in accordance with the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016–2030, which outlines India's plan to eradicate the illness by that year. As part of Swachh Bharat, the programme also works with the government to manage the environment and control vectors. EMBED has touched 10,16,453 persons who are at high risk for malaria in the last few years.

Impact Created

The Elimination of Vector Borne Endemic Diseases (EMBED) Project is being carried out by Family Health India in cooperation with regional NGO partners and the Health Department of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh. It is funded by the Godrej Consumer Products, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of Godrej Consumer Products Limited. 


The project aims to lower sickness and deaths from malaria and dengue in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh. It does this by teaching people how to protect themselves better, getting communities involved, and making sure everyone can easily get mosquito repellents and preventive services.

An effect analysis and Social Return on Investment (SROI) indicate that rural and tribal communities with limited resources are among EMBED's primary target audiences. Ninety-five per cent of residents report yearly household incomes of less than INR 50,000; ninety per cent of respondents are members of scheduled tribes; eleven percent of residents own smartphones and ten per cent own televisions; sixty-seven per cent of respondents have just basic phones.

No similar strategies for malaria prevention and control programs were found in a benchmarking study. The social return on investment (SROI) analysis demonstrated that the program generated an average of INR 12.38 for every INR 1 invested.

According to the survey, there has been a 65% increase in recipients visiting medical facilities when they have a fever. It's conceivable that cases that wouldn't have otherwise been noticed have now been identified as malaria cases as a result of people acting positively toward their health.

Only 8% of homes (1% of all homes) reported a death. The overall number of malaria cases and deaths has dropped dramatically, according to government figures, suggesting that the disease's impact has lessened. 

By significantly increasing community members' familiarity with malaria and its symptoms, EMBED has proven itself to be a valuable alternative to widespread education campaigns. After a year, people remember the campaign and how it was delivered, and they have developed more favorable attitudes toward taking precautions against malaria and mosquito bites.

Towards the Future

Beginning with the use of signs, flags, banners, and the uniform wearing of t-shirts and caps by local implementation personnel, "EMBED" aims to improve its marketing and brand recognition among community members, making it easier for them to access affordable, all-natural insect repellents.

To ensure the program's long-term survival and maintain awareness efforts, there is a need for a transition period to government health workers. Consistent monitoring of local health systems, driven by close government engagement, provides valuable insights for future actions.


Decentralized planning, increased availability of malaria testing and treatment, and a focus on developing effective interventions and new technology are essential steps toward eradicating malaria. With the goal of achieving this by 2030, the EMBED effort has introduced a scalable technique to assist high-burden areas, showcasing their unwavering dedication to eliminating malaria in India.


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