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Malaria control to be derailed without support to Global Fund

The need to step up domestic and international financing to fight malaria and also support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, would be the focus of stakeholders at the 6th Global Fund Replenishment Conference, scheduled for October this year, in France.

Currently an additional $1.4 billion and more is expected to be raised between now and 2020 to finance various aspects of malaria control.

Mr Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, referring to his background as a banker and also the urgent need to fund malaria, said there is a compelling moral and economic reason to get rid of malaria.

Mr Sands was speaking at a ministerial session on malaria at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, which was on theme: “Malaria: stepping up the fight to reach 2030 objectives”.

He explained that there are threats hanging over the malaria control efforts, therefore, there is urgent need to sustain malaria financing.

According to him, because of emerging threats such as insecticide and drugs resistance there is the need to make use of current tools to fight the disease, while researching for new ones to help solve potential threats and rein in malaria.

Mr Sands said the Global Fund is focusing on the malaria elimination agenda, helping the 11 countries with the highest malaria burden and ensuring that both international and domestic financing of the disease are sustained.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), addressed the gathering on malaria elimination milestones in the context of achieving the SDGs.

He used the occasion to also congratulate Argentina and Algeria for having been recently officially certified by WHO as malaria-free.

Both Dr Mohamed Miraoui, Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform of Algeria and Dr Miriam Burgos, Under-Secretary for Prevention and Control of Communicable and Vaccine-Prevention Diseases of the Ministry of Health of Argentina, spoke briefly on political engagement in malaria elimination.

By Eunice Menka, back from Geneva, Switzerland
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