Malaria is one of the ‘best buys’ in Global Health

Approx reading time: 1 min

Op-ed by Dr James Tibenderana, Malaria Consortium Development Director, on the launch of two new malaria strategies

At this week’s 3rd International Financing for Development meeting in Addis Ababa, the World Health Organization (WHO), along with the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership present their 2015-2030 strategies during a financing for malaria side meeting.

Both strategies – WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 (GTS) and RBM’s Action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016-2030 (AIM) – for a malaria free world – will be shaping the future of health development by saving more than 10 million lives and averting nearly 3 billion cases worldwide. Together, these documents chart the investment and collective actions needed to reach the 2030 malaria goals and reach a malaria-free world.

Malaria Consortium, UK’s leading malaria NGO and a partner of RBM, made a significant contribution to the development of the GTS: through the WHO Malaria Policy Advisory Committee of which our Technical Director Dr Sylvia Meek is a member, by sharing its technical expertise into online consultations and by translating evidence and learning of our work into practical advice for the strategy.

I am delighted to see both strategies highlight the huge health and economic benefits that result from investing in eliminating malaria while demonstrating malaria is one of the ‘best buys’ in Global Health. Meeting the 2030 malaria targets will generate more than US $4 trillion of additional economic output across the 2016-2030 timeframe.

Though the world has made dramatic progress – malaria mortality rates have decreased by 54 percent in Africa, much remains to be done. Nearly 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa still lack access to a protective insecticide-treated net, and at least 15 million pregnant women do not receive the protective treatment they need to keep themselves and their unborn child healthy. Each year, malaria costs the African continent an estimated minimum of US $12 billion in lost productivity.

History demonstrates that maintaining gains made fighting malaria are dependant on sufficient and sustained investment. Since the 1930s, there have been 75 documented resurgences of malaria reported in 61 countries, the majority linked to reduced or suspended funding for malaria programmes.

We therefore call on governments, donors and partners to continue to work together – within and between sectors and across borders.

I am proud to see today’s event marks a milestone in global health history and the start of a new era in development.

Dr James Tibenderana, Malaria Consortium Development Director

European Year for Development launches amidst growing public support for aid

Approx reading time: 2 mins

2015 is set to be an important – and hopefully transformational – year for international development. Over the next 12 months countries around the world will come together to agree the development framework to replace the expiring Millennium Development Goals. Last month the UN Secretary General released his ‘Road to Dignity’ synthesis report, which outlines 17 goals and proposed framework that will form the basis for intergovernmental negotiations later this year. You can read Malaria Consortium’s response to this report here.

To compliment this process, 2015 has been designated European Year for Development. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of the EU’s role in international development, showcase Europe’s commitment to eradicating poverty and educate citizens about the importance of foreign aid. Throughout the year a range of events will be held across the 28 member countries of the EU to involve people in the debate around development and encourage their participation through volunteering. Furthermore, charities, universities and other stakeholders will share their success stories from the field to highlight the long-term impact that foreign aid can have through a range of media.

With numerous activities planned for 2015, it is therefore encouraging that at the start of the European Year for Development a new Eurobarometer survey indicates that international development and foreign aid is widely supported by EU citizens. 67 percent of people surveyed support increasing the EU’s aid budget, an increase of six percent compared to 2013. 74 percent believe that tackling poverty contributes to a more peaceful and equitable world and 64 percent of citizens believe that alleviating poverty should be a main priority of the EU. Health is considered to be the most important area of international aid by 39 percent of survey respondents, followed by peace and security (36 percent) and education (34 percent).

During this critical time for development, the European Year for Development offers us the opportunity to build on already high levels of public support and engage the people of Europe further about the importance of eradicating poverty, disease and inequality in this generation.

Each month during the European Year for Development has been assigned a theme – April is the month for ‘health’. Considering that EU citizens view health as the most important area of development, this offers an excellent opportunity to refocus EU attention upon the critical importance of tackling malaria, neglected tropical diseases and childhood illnesses, with World Malaria Day on 25th April providing the perfect occasion to do so. Malaria Consortium will be organising activities in Europe and across the world to widen the discussion about global efforts to eliminate malaria and engage European policy makers on how the EU can increase its role. All Malaria Consortium events and activities can be found listed in our new events calendar.

For more information about the European Year for Development, see the dedicated EU website. You can also follow the latest news and event information about the European Year for Development via Twitter, at @EYD2015.