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AfDB calls for domestic financing to fight malaria

By Conan Businge

Added 25th April 2018 04:22 PM

"Malaria is bad for business, Africa should invest in the local manufacturing of low-cost generic medicines to facilitate access to treatment for its people.” AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina told the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.

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"Malaria is bad for business, Africa should invest in the local manufacturing of low-cost generic medicines to facilitate access to treatment for its people.” AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina told the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.

As African governments fight Malaria, the African Development Bank has urged African leaders to shift their eyes from foreign aid to domestic financing

WORLD MALARIA DAY


AS we mark the World Malaria Day, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has released a report dubbed, Money and Mosquitoes; The Economics of Malaria in an Age of declining Aid.

The report examines financing in the battle against malaria, focusing on the role of foreign aid. It analyses whether or not a disease such as malaria can be controlled or eliminated in Africa without health aid. It also presents a theoretical model of the economics of malaria and shows how health aid can help avoid the “disease trap.”

While calling for increased funding from international sources to fight malaria, it also recommends that African countries step up their own efforts, including on domestic resource mobilisation. In 2016, governments of endemic countries contributed 31% of the estimated total of $2.7b.

The statement from the AfDB says that between 2000 and 2014, malaria control efforts were scaled up and worldwide deaths were cut in half. But declining health aid and deprioritised vertical aid (as for malaria), despite its potentially great efficiency, have led to rising numbers of cases.

In 2016, 216 million cases of malaria were reported, up from 211 million in 2015. Africa was home to 90% of all malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths in 2016. Progress appears to have stalled in the global fight against the disease.

“Malaria is bad for business,” AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina told the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, a coalition of 49 African Heads of State and governments that was established in 2009 to eliminate malaria by 2030, during the African Union Summit in January. “For this reason, Africa should invest in the local manufacturing of low-cost generic medicines to facilitate access to treatment for its people.”

Malaria strains national economies and impoverishes households, Adesina remarked, adding that the economic impact of the tropical disease costs Africa an estimated $12b annually. The gross domestic product of some nations is affected by as much as 5% to 6%. Of the drugs consumed on the continent, an estimated 79% are imported from India and China, whereas if anti-malaria medicines were manufactured locally, they would be affordable for most Africans families.

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