After 45 years fighting diseases like Guinea worm, malaria, sleeping sickness and diarrhea, TorbenVestergaardFrandsen, 65, will resign from his daily duties in the family company, VestergaardFrandsen.The company, where Torben?s son is currently the CEO, is the largest global producer of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets which have been distributed throughout Africa.?

Torben will use his decades of knowledge about fighting global health issues to serve in advisory positions for international companies and organizations that are dedicated to developing products for people at the base of the pyramid, with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Torben?s father, Kaj, began VestergaardFrandsen as a family owned business in Denmark in 1957.? The company grew into a manufacturer of corporate work wear and uniforms.? Torben joined his father in 1968 and developed the company further.? In the 1990s, Torben?s son, Mikkel, came on board.? Torben and Mikkel worked together to transform the company from a work uniform manufacturer into a global humanitarian enterprise innovating game-changing solutions that improve the plight of people at the base of the pyramid.

In 1997, the Carter Center asked VestergaardFrandsen to help break the infection cycle for Guinea worm. Torben worked with the Center to create a pipe filter which has been key in the fight against Guinea worm disease, which is now close to eradication.? The filter was the inspiration for the award-winning LifeStraw? point-of-use water filter launched by VestergaardFrandsen in 2005.? The small, lightweight plastic cylinder filters at least 1,000 liters of contaminated water, removing 99.9 percent of bacteria and parasites.? A complementary water purifier, LifeStraw? Family, was introduced three years later.

LifeStraw? has won numerous global awards for its groundbreaking technology and TorbenVestergaardFrandsen has been rewarded with the prestigious Index Award for the unique design of LifeStraw?.? He was also named ?man of the year? in Scandinavia by SAS in 2006.

Torben has also played a vital role in the fight against malaria.? VestergaardFrandsen is one of the largest manufacturers of bed nets. The company?s PermaNet? bed net was the first long-lasting insecticidal bed net taken to global scale and it has been a stunning success.? Since 1999, about a half billion PermaNet? bed nets have played a significant role in the reduction in deaths from malaria by more than one third.

Torben will continue to serve as a board member at VestergaardFrandsen in addition to board roles in a number of other companies. He will also serve as a board member for the Danish art museum, Trapholt, and be a mentor for the students at Kolding School of Design.? Additionally, Torben will use his decades of knowledge about fighting global health issues to serve in advisory positions for international companies and organizations that are dedicated to developing products for people at the base of the pyramid, with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.? Torben will also be joining the advisory board for an EU Commission project aimed at developing solar cell fibers integrated into textiles.

 

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