As leaders from donor and malaria-affected countries, governments, business, philanthropic and international organisations come together today to reignite efforts to beat malaria, the United Kingdom is set to commit £50 million (N25,757,154,000.00) to malaria programme in Nigeria even as it pledged £9.2 million to fund new research on development of new triple Artemisinin Combination Treatments.
Ahead of the Malaria Summit London 2018, co-hosted by the governments of Rwanda, Swaziland and the UK, the UK government re-affirmed its commitment to spend £500 million a year on malaria through to 2020 to 2021.
As part of this, the UK announced a further £100 million match fund commitment to the Global Fund to match new contributions from private donors pound for pound. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will extend its investments in malaria with additional $1 billion through to 2023 by fund R&D efforts and reduce the burden of the disease towards ending malaria for good.
The commitment was in response to the global malaria community appeal to Commonwealth leaders to make a game-changing commitment to halve malaria across the Commonwealth within the next five years.
This they said would prevent 350 million cases of malaria and save 650,000 lives, predominately children and pregnant women who are most at risk.
Findings show that Nigeria has the largest funding gap in malaria elimination in Africa.
Nigeria faces a financial gap of N504 billion ($1.4 billion) to implement its national malaria strategy by 2020, according to the 2017 World Malaria Report, a publication by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In addition to constituting 27 percent of malaria cases worldwide, out of 30 African countries analysed in the report, Nigeria alone accounts for 53 percent of the $1.3 billion funding gap for essential commodities that include 76 percent of the funding gap in Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) and 86 percent of the funding gap for Rapid Diagnostic Test kits (RDTs).
The WHO made known that in 2016, for the first time in a decade, the number of malaria cases in the world was on the rise and in some areas there was resurgence.
“Malaria is fighting back as the mosquito and the parasite develop resistance to the interventions we use to fight them. This has been compounded by a plateau in global funding for malaria since 2010, climate change, which intensifies incidences of malaria, and acute malaria outbreaks found in areas of crisis, war and conflict.
“To accelerate the fight against this disease there needs to be better deployment of existing tools and development of new and innovative solutions.
The commitments focus on three important areas to fight resurgence of the disease. The effective tools (nets, sprays and treatments) in the fight against malaria are under threat from drug and insecticide resistance. The malaria parasite and the mosquitoes that carry it are evolving resistance to existing interventions – malaria is fighting back.
The Malaria Summit calls for new tools to stay ahead of the disease, announcing commitments to invest in future innovations.