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Press releases 2012

RBM Partnership calls for US$2.4 billion to avert potential malaria resurgence in sub-Saharan Africa

Press release, 07.12.2012

7 December 2012, Dakar, SENEGAL: - The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) Board concluded its 23rd meeting in Senegal with an urgent call to governments of malaria endemic countries and development partners to secure the US$2.4 billion needed over the next two years to maintain high levels of coverage with life-saving malaria prevention and treatment interventions in eight African countries. This call follows a decade of success where malaria deaths have fallen by over one-third in sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking during the closing session, the RBM Board Chair, Dr Makwenge Kaput, Honorary Minister of Health and Member of Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Congo, highlighted the precarious situation facing the continent, “Africa has made enormous progress in fighting malaria, but we have to ensure, as a continent, that this funding is sustained; we risk backsliding if we don't act fast. The gaps in funding will have serious consequences if they are not filled; lives will be lost and our battle against poverty derailed.”

Overall, out of a total of US$6.8 billion required, US$3.2 billion has been mobilized leaving a US$3.6 billion gap to make sure all affected countries in Africa have enough insecticide treated nets, effective treatments and rapid diagnostic tests for all populations at risk of malaria to achieve the target of near-zero deaths by 2015.

However, eight countries, including some of the largest on the continent, now need to replace commodities like long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets, and maintain access to treatment; these countries are at severe risk of not being able to do so. The consequence of this, as has been seen in other countries, is  a potential resurgence of the disease and spikes in mortality, particularly among children less than 5-years of age.

Serious funding gaps requiring immediate attention have been identified in Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Nigeria needs a little less than half of the US$2.4 billion called for during the Partnership Board meeting.

“It is unthinkable that we would allow millions of children to lose their protection and wipe away our US$10 billion investment to date by allowing resurgences to occur,” said the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria and Health MDG Advocate, Ray Chambers. I fully support the RBM Partnership Board’s proposed measures to close the gaps, and urge them to be implemented immediately.

Board members emphasized the need for an intense and rapid mobilization of increased domestic resources as well as international donor funding, and innovative financing,    “We urgently need fresh ideas and new thinking about financing mechanisms that will reap greater resources for malaria,” said Dr Nafo Traoré, Executive Director, RBM Partnership. “We are exploring all options - financial transaction taxes, airline ticket taxes together with UNITAID, and a “malaria bond”, among others.”

“This is a challenging and inspiring task for the malaria community,“ said Dr Makwenge, “ We have a responsibility, as a global partnership, to take this on. Today’s unequivocal call for action by the Board makes me confident that, with the collective push of all stakeholders, this urgent fundraising effort could be successful”.

 

Media Contact:

Ms Pru Smith, RBM,  Geneva,
+41 79 477 1744  +41 22 791 4586

Ms Fara Ndiay, Speak Up Africa, Dakar
+ 221 77 332 88 63, +221 33 822 49 22

 

The fight against malaria has forged one of the most effective initiatives in global public health –the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. The World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report 2011 indicates that with increased coordination and focus on defeating the disease in the last decade, 43 malaria-endemic countries worldwide have reported declines in malaria cases by 50% or more compared to the year 2000. Despite this progress, an estimated 216 million malaria cases still occur in the world every year, causing around 650,000 deaths, mostly in children under five years of age.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) is the global framework for coordinated action against malaria. Founded in 1998 by UNICEF, WHO, UNDP and the World Bank and strengthened by the expertise, resources and commitment of more than 500 partner organizations, RBM is a public-private partnership that facilitates the incubation of new ideas, lends support to innovative approaches, promotes high-level political commitment and keeps malaria high on the global agenda by enabling, harmonizing and amplifying partner-driven advocacy initiatives. RBM secures policy guidance and financial and technical support for control efforts in countries and monitors progress towards universal goals.