Research Press Release

Public health: Aid levels insufficient to eliminate malaria in Africa

Nature Communications

May 29, 2019

The current level of international funding to fight malaria will not be enough to eliminate the disease in Africa according to a study published in Nature Communications. The authors suggest that about US $25 to $30 of aid per capita in African countries would be needed.

The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum parasite infections in Africa halved between 2000 and 2015 and malaria mortality rates fell by 57% during this period. This seemingly promising trend is attributed to control measures, such as the distribution and adoption of insecticide-treated bed nets. However, progress towards elimination has stagnated since 2015; disease burden has increased, while levels of aid are declining.

Josselin Thuilliez and colleagues used a model of the economics of malaria control to understand the effects of aid on malaria burden. The authors found that current levels of funding will not be enough to achieve the sufficiently wide adoption of malaria prevention measures that would be required to eliminate the disease. They argue that this is in part because poverty prevents large proportions of populations from adopting prevention measures even when they are fully subsidized. The model predicts that about US $25 to $30 of aid per capita could be needed to overcome this trap and to continue the trend towards elimination of malaria in Africa.


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