$65.1 million initiative to boost malaria fight in Africa

Over four years, the initiative will protect approximately 50 million people in 16 African countries. | File photo

UNITAID and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) recently developed a new $65.1 million initiative that is designed to improve malaria control while fighting insecticide resistance.

The initiative is meant to finance new and effective insecticides for nations. The insecticides, which are used to spray walls inside houses, will be purchased at lower prices.

Even though spraying walls is efficient in fighting malaria, the effectiveness has decreased by 40 percent in recent years. Experts attribute this to mosquitoes developing a heightened resistance to the older products, and note the new alternatives are considerably more expensive than traditional methods.

“The initiative is about bolstering the central role of insecticides in controlling malaria,” UNITAID Executive Director Lelio Marmora said. “If the resistance continues to spread unabated, there could be 120,000 more deaths from malaria a year. Unless newer insecticides are used, we run the risk of considerable reversals in the fight against malaria. This is the first of many other initiatives by UNITAID to control the spread of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes.”

Over four years, the initiative will protect approximately 50 million people in 16 African countries.

“This project with UNITAID will help maintain the effectiveness of vector control in the short term and encourage competition as prices decrease and demand grows,” World Malaria Programme Director Dr. Pedro Alonso said. “Effective vector control is a cornerstone of our global strategy for malaria. It is responsible for many of the gains seen over the last decade in malaria control and elimination. We welcome this joint initiative to accelerate the development and deployment of new insecticides and vector control tools.”

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President's Malaria Initiative 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20004

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