TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Liberian president asks for additional funding to fight malaria

African leaders are calling for more funding to increase malaria control efforts aimed at preventing approximately 640 million cases by the end of 2015.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced that at least an additional $3.2 billion will be required over the next three years. Sirfleaf, who is also the chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, made the comments during the recently concluded African Union summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to DevEx.com.

"A share of the required resources needs to come from Africa," Sirleaf said, AllAfrica.com reports. "We can't ask the world to invest in Africa's health if we won't make the same investment ourselves, but we will need the world's help."

A recent ALMA study, conducted in collaboration with the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Malaria and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, concluded that every dollar invested in malaria control on the continent generates an average of $40 in gross domestic product, according to AllAfrica.com.

At the AU summit, ALMA members stressed the need for African countries to strengthen their financial management strategies and increase their efficiency in procuring artemisinin-based combination therapies, rapid diagnostic tests and long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets. Estimates have shown that simply introducing standards for bed nets could save African countries approximately $630 million over five years.