corporate responsibility: Marathon Fights Malaria

Why an oil-and-gas giant is especially well suited to tackling a mosquito-borne disease

What's an oil company's return on investment for fighting malaria? A lot higher than you'd think. Outside the Middle East, many of the world's reserves of petroleum and natural gas are located in Central and Western Africa, where malaria takes a particularly horrific toll. By the most conservative estimates, the mosquito-borne disease kills 1 million people in Africa each year--most of them children--and it hurts businesses by sapping the energy of hundreds of millions of adults.

So when Marathon Oil decided in 2002 to expand its natural-gas operations to Bioko (pop. 250,000), just off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, company managers...

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