Malaria

FY2018 Funding Recommendation:  
$845 million

 

Funding History

       Enacted   

       House/Senate FY2017 Request  

       InterAction's FY2018 Recommendation


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Justification

  

 Key Facts

In 2015 alone, there were an estimated 212 million new cases of malaria, resulting in approximately 429,000 deaths worldwide. One child under 5 years of age dies every two minutes for lack of simple, cost-effective tools such as an insecticide-treated bed net or a course of treatment. Endemic in 91 countries, malaria has a staggering economic impact as well. Direct costs such as worker absenteeism, health care and treatment, and premature death have an estimated price tag of at least $12 billion per year in lost economic growth, demonstrating the vital need to continue to invest in prevention and elimination efforts.

However, smart investments by both the public and private sectors have led to significant progress. An expansion of malaria programming between 2000 and 2015 helped reduce malaria mortality rates by 62% and malaria incidence by 41% globally.

U.S. investments through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) have significantly advanced efforts to eliminate the disease. PMI, housed at USAID and in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also collaborates with the Department of Defense to create the next generation of tools and technologies to fight the disease.

  • Since its launch under the Bush Administration in 2005, PMI has distributed more than 197 million insecticide-treated bed nets and more than 376 million life-saving antimalarial treatments.
  • PMI has also provided protection for over 18 million   people by spraying more than 5 million houses with insecticides (and provided 58 million preventative treatments for pregnant women).
  • To date, the original 15 PMI focus countries have seen reductions in childhood mortality from malaria ranging from 18 to 55%.
  • To date, the Global Fund has distributed 659 million insecticide-treated bed nets and treated 582 million cases of the disease.
  • U.S. funding supports the development and distribution of new and improved antimalarial drugs, insecticides, malaria vaccine candidates, and other malaria-related research in collaboration with U.S. and other international partners.

Malaria prevention and treatment programs are hailed as a model of success in the global health community. Through shared investments with the private sector and domestic governments, U.S. government programming is saving millions of lives, while simultaneously strengthening emerging economies and health systems. Malaria interventions provide a significant return on investment, costing only $5 to 8 dollars per case averted, resulting in billions in savings. According to a 2015 report by the Roll Back Malaria partnership, these benefits will result in a 40-fold return on investment when 2030 targets, recommended by the World Health Organization, are achieved. In addition to this financial return, these investments will contribute to significant reductions in extreme poverty through increases in agricultural output, education, and women’s empowerment.

While the tremendous progress against malaria should be acknowledged, more work is needed to sustain progress in the fight against this deadly disease. In the push towards elimination of malaria in key geographies – and thus towards the end of recurring costs – it is crucial that funding be increased to achieve this goal.

In FY2016, the U.S. invested $674 million in PMI, the second largest funding stream for malaria behind the Global Fund. InterAction’s FY2018 funding request of $845 million for PMI – in conjunction with $1.35 billion requested for the Global Fund – will ensure that 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.

Success Story

Rural Communities in Angola: Recognizing and Responding to Malaria

While her mother was out working, Neoránia António, 3 years old, started moaning and tossing in her sleep. Her 16-year-old brother, Pascal, noticed she had a high fever and brought her immediately to the health center in Kwanza Norte, Angola.

“I was informed that when someone has fever, we should not wait for the following day but we should go directly to the center,” said Pascal. “So, when my mom went to the field, my sister was moaning with fever, I decided come to the health center.”

Pascal knew to bring Neoránia in immediately because trained community members have begun publicly sharing information about preventing and treating malaria, including what steps to take when symptoms are observed.  These community mobilizers were trained by World Vision and the Ministry of Health through the Malaria Treatment and Prevention in Kwanza Norte project, funded by USAID, to reduce by 70% the number of malaria cases, malaria related mortality, and the socio-economic burden of malaria.

At the health center, the nurse took steps to bring Neoránia’s fever down (applied cool, damp cloth, administered medication) and then tested her for malaria. The results were positive.

“The nurse gave me Coartem [antiparasitic drug used to treat malaria] and explained how to give the medication at home,” said Pascal. “This has not happened in years.”

Before World Vision and the Ministry of Health began the project, wait times were very long at health centers, and laboratory tests were not performed, leaving nurses to prescribe, and patients to pay for, medication that might not be needed. Now all clinics, health centers, and hospitals not only provide tests and treatment, but also educate patients on the prevention, symptoms, and treatment of malaria and other diseases.

“Many people didn't know the signs and symptom of malaria and much less knew that when they have symptoms they should go directly to the health center. Also, they don’t know how to prevent the disease,” Pascal explained. “Now whenever I come in they give us lectures on how we can prevent this disease by using mosquito nets and burying garbage and plugging the holes that can attract mosquitos.” 

World Vision also continuously trains technicians to improve their awareness in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of malaria and other diseases.

“I have high expectations for the future,” said Pascal. “My dream is for my siblings and I to study and become nurses.”

Photo: Borges Bumba Bongue/World Vision

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