Time to Invest in Ending Malaria is Now
“It is through strong political commitment, sufficient investment and an arsenal of strategies that we can achieve our common goal: a malaria-free world.” (UN Secretary-General António Guterres, World Malaria Day 2021)
Historic gains have been made against malaria globally, yet long-term success in reaching a malaria-free world within a generation is far from assured. A more coordinated, intentional, and focused effort is urgently required, and COVID-19 has tested those efforts severely.
In many ways, approaches to tackle the malaria and COVID-19 are inextricably linked:
“The best way to build pandemic preparedness in many of the poorest parts of the world would be to mount a significant step-up in the fight against malaria.” (Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund)
The parallels are clear: “The capabilities needed to prepare and respond to any new pathogenic threat are largely the same as those needed to defeat malaria – primary health care that reaches everyone, however remote; rapid diagnostics; genomic sequencing to detect variants; disease surveillance including the ability to trace individual infections; supply chains that ensure essential medicines are available everywhere.” (Peter Sands)
Corporate Commitments to Malaria Elimination
GBCHealth’s partners in the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) are already rising to the challenge. In a three-part virtual dialogue series between March and May 2021, CAMA and its business partners came together with high-level government officials, the director of Africa CDC, WHO and leading malaria experts from academia and NGOs to take a hard look at what’s needed to change the narrative about malaria. The aim was to mobilize all actors in the global health community towards even greater commitment and increased investment in malaria elimination.
The series culminated in the launch of the End Malaria Project, a 3-year initiative led by CAMA. Access Bank, Chevron, Aliko Dangote Foundation and Vestergaard announced their support and financial commitments for the new initiative.
Working closely with partners in Nigeria, and more widely across Africa, the End Malaria Project will catalyze private sector resources and capabilities to increase awareness and support malaria control efforts, saving at least 50,000 lives by 2023.
The End Malaria Project will help organizations shape their own malaria response plans for staff working in the endemic communities; and there will be opportunities to engage in and influence dialogue that will impact malaria outcomes at scale.
We are keen to work with partners who also want to make a difference, and work with us to tackle one of the world’s oldest pandemics. If you’re interested, you can get in touch here.
A report of the three events and key themes that emerged from discussions will be available on our website soon.
Dialogue 1: Optimizing Vector Control Interventions Towards Malaria Elimination in Nigeria
Dialogue 2: Combating Malaria in Africa: Lessons and Opportunities [EMBED YOUTUBE VIDEO]
Dialogue 3: Sustaining Progress in the Fight to End Malaria & the End Malaria Project
“I think it is possible to eliminate malaria. I think it is a goal that we must pursue. And we should look at that… in the spirit of… a new public health order for the continent, which means that we have to make sure that the private sector is part and parcel of what we are doing,” said Dr. John Ngkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, during the virtual dialogue.
This high-level, invite-only dialogue hosted by CAMA, GBCHealth and Wilton Park brought together global thought-leaders, policy makers and investors to understand opportunities to enhance political and private sector commitments and investments in the drive towards malaria elimination. Debate on how to accomplish this in the context of COVID-19 focused on the importance of adhering to the 2030 goals and the need for renewed energy and financing to end malaria.