25 April 2018

Namibia: African Development Bank, Releases Report On Funding the Fight Against Malaria

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Malaria is one of the world oldest and deadliest diseases in human history.

The African Development Bank has released the report Money and Mosquitoes: The Economics of Malaria in an Age of declining Aid on the occasion of World Malaria Day 2018 on 25 April. 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 presents a theoretical model of the economics of malaria and shows how health aid can help avoid the 'disease trap'.

The report calls for increase funding from intentional sources to fight malaria but it also recommends that African countries step up their own efforts, including on domestic resource mobilization. Statistics report that in 2016 governments of endemic countries contributed 31% of estimated total of US$2.7 billion.

According to the report between 2000 and 2014 malaria control efforts were scaled up and worldwide deaths were cut in half. But declining health aid and deprioritized vertical aid, despite its potentially great efficiency, have led to rising numbers of cases, where by 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, therefore progress appears to have stalled in the global fight against the disease.

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank said malaria is bad for business and for this reason, Africa should invest in the local manufacturing of low-cost generic medicines to facilitate access to treatment for its people.

He said that malaria strains national economies and impoverishes households, adding that the economic impact of the tropical disease costs Africa an estimated UN$12 billion annually.

Authors of the report include Eric Maskin, Harvard University's Nobel Laureate Economist, Celestin Monga, African Development Bank Group Vice President for Economic governance and Knowledge Managment and Jean-Claude Berthelemy, Professor of Economics at the University of Paris.

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