FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
In 2013 alone, there were an estimated 198 million cases of malaria, resulting in an estimated 584,000 deaths worldwide – with children under 5 accounting for 78% of these fatalities. Endemic in 97 countries, malaria’s economic and social impacts are staggering as well. Direct costs such as absenteeism, health care and treatment, and premature death have an estimated price tag of at least $12 billion per year.
However, there has been progress. U.S. investments through USAID and the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) have significantly furthered efforts to eliminate the disease and to create the innovative tools and technologies needed to deliver further successes.
- Since its launch in 2005, PMI has distributed more than 81 million insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent infection, and more than 185 million life-saving antimalarial treatments.
- To date, the original 15 PMI focus countries have seen reductions in childhood mortality from malaria ranging from 16-50%.
- U.S. funding supports the development of new malaria vaccine candidates, anti-malarial drugs, new insecticides, and other malaria-related research with multilateral donors.
An expansion of malaria interventions between 2000 and 2013 helped reduce malaria incidence by 30% globally. While great progress has been made, a recent report by the World Health Organization indicates that more work is needed to sustain progress in the fight against this deadly disease. In FY2014, the U.S. invested $665 million into the President’s Malaria Initiative, the second largest funding stream for malaria behind the Global Fund. Last year, U.S. bilateral funding for malaria, primarily through PMI, amounted to 26% of all global efforts. As we push towards elimination of malaria in certain areas – and thus towards the end of recurring costs – it is crucial that funding be increased to achieve this goal. While FY 2015 funding for PMI saw a slight increase, overall U.S. contributions through multilateral funding for malaria were cut significantly. This funding request seeks to ensure that total U.S. support for malaria programming continues to increase. Eliminating malaria as rapidly as possible would be the most cost effective course of action, since the cost of continuing the battle against malaria will only increase in the future.
Malaria prevention and treatment programs have been a model of success. By sharing responsibility, we are saving millions of lives while strengthening emerging economies and health systems. Research from the UN Special Envoy on Malaria indicates that every $1 invested in malaria control in Africa, on average, returns $40 in higher economic growth. These gains, however, are fragile, and retreating on investment now would not only stall the progress realized to date, but also allow malaria’s resurgence.
School children in Angola bring malaria prevention home
Manuelito goes to school in Mucaba, northern Angola, where malaria is by far the most common cause of illness and death, especially among children. Fortunately, Manuelito’s teacher is one of the 100 educators from Uíge Province trained by Episcopal Relief & Development’s NetsforLife program partnership to promote malaria prevention in their classrooms.
Through NetsforLife, with support from USAID, Manuelito and his classmates learned the signs and symptoms of malaria and how sleeping under long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets can prevent the mosquito bites that cause it. Furthermore, Manuelito brought home what he learned, insisting that his parents and siblings sleep under nets every night, and protecting his whole family from malaria.
“I know mosquitoes cause malaria since my teacher taught me at school,” Manuelito said. “The mosquito net is the best way to prevent my family from getting malaria, and it is my duty to ensure that my family is healthy.”
Episcopal Relief & Development and NetsforLife are working with the Anglican Diocese of Angola to create a “net culture” where everyone in a community understands and values malaria nets as an effective way to prevent the deadly disease. Since NetsforLife began in 2006, malaria-related deaths have fallen by 45% in areas where the program is active. This is due to the efforts of the thousands of volunteers who educate their communities, hang nets directly in homes and follow up to ensure they are being maintained and used properly.
Through his teacher, Manuelito is now one of the many malaria prevention ambassadors in Mucaba helping to keep his community safe and healthy. “My parents are happy when we don’t fall ill, so I would always use the bed net,” he said.
Photo Credit: Episcopal Relief & Development