U.S. Efforts to Fight Global Malaria

U.S. Efforts to Fight Global Malaria

Malaria is the single largest killer of children in Africa.  An estimated 801,000 people die each year in Africa, most of them children, despite the fact that proven, cost-effective prevention and treatment solutions exist. U.S. malaria funding goes through two main streams – the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the President’s Malaria Initiative – and some additional money is channeled through other bilateral programs.  The Global Fund is a unique public-private partnership that allots approximately 25% of its funds towards fighting malaria.  The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was announced on June 30, 2005 by President Bush as a new U.S. commitment to spend an additional $1.2 billion between 2005 and 2010 and cut malaria related deaths by 50% in 15 focus countries in Africa.

PMI is partnering with national malaria control programs, international organizations and the private sector with a goal of providing prevention and treatment for 175 million of the most vulnerable people (children under the age of five, pregnant women and people living with HIV/AIDS) in its 15 focus nations by 2010. PMI is providing anti-malarial drugs, insecticide-treated bed nets, treatment for pregnant women and indoor mosquito spraying. The first phase of the program was launched in early 2006 in Uganda, Angola and Tanzania. PMI is now operating in a total of 15 focus countries, all of which are in Africa.[1] By 2008, PMI activities had already reached over 32 million people in the focus countries.

U.S. Funding for Malaria

In total, the U.S. directs money to the fight against malaria in three ways:

1.    The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria-U.S. contributions to the Global Fund have increased in recent years, and as a result, overall U.S. funding for malaria has increased as well.  The Global Fund has allotted approximately 25% of the funds it has disbursed since its inception towards fighting malaria.  The Global Fund is now the world’s largest external financing source for malaria programs, providing three-quarters of all international financing.

2.    President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)-The PMI is a bilateral, interagency initiative that is scaling up existing bilateral efforts by focusing on 15 countries. It is led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of State.

3.    Other bilateral programs-Funding for bilateral malaria efforts outside of PMI are also programmed through USAID and CDC. In addition to the 15 focus countries, the U.S. will maintain efforts in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guinea, Nigeria and Sudan.

Recent Trends in U.S. Malaria Funding

Total U.S. funding for malaria has more than doubled from FY2004 to FY2009.  Funding for bilateral malaria programs climbed to approximately $336  million in FY09.  Bilateral funding for malaria programs has become a much more significant part of malaria funding from the U.S. in the past few years.

Funding for the Global Fund has also continued to increase. In FY2009, the U.S. appropriated $900 million to the Global Fund. ONE estimates that approximately $225 million of this contribution to the Global Fund will be used to fund malaria programs, bringing our total FY2009 spending on malaria to $561 million.

PMI Progress to Date

  • In Uganda, malaria is the leading cause of illness and death. By April 2009, PMI had procured and distributednearly 2 million insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs), and distributed an additional 370,000 nets procured by partners. PMI is also distributing anti-malarial drugs, including a focus on pregnant women and have trained over 4,000 local personnel in indoor insecticide spraying techniques.
  • In Senegal, PMI has supported training for 1,020 community health workers on how to administer anti-malarial drugs. An additional 2,705 community health educators were trained to deliver messages on malaria prevention and when to seek care.  More than 2,400 health care workers received training in 2008 in IPTp (intermittent preventative treatment) in pregnancy.
  • In Tanzania, malaria is responsible for one-third of deaths in children under age five. PMI has procured and distributed more than 4.2 million insecticide treatment kits and over 5 million vouchers for new nets have been distributed. Early successes have been achieved on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar where a reduction in confirmed malaria cases among children to 1% in 2007 from 25% in 2005. Further, in the 2007 tests, no pregnant women were found to have malaria. PMI is now planning to distribute 1.1 million bed nets for infants on mainland Tanzania.

The Global Fund Progress to Date

The Global Fund currently operates in 150 countries, many of them in Africa.  To date, worldwide Global Fund programs have:

  • Distributed 270 million insecticide-treated bed nets.
  • Delivered 260 million highly effective anti malaria treatments.
  • Protected millions of people through indoor spraying.

[1] The focus countries are Angola, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.