WHO asks for better funding of malaria programmes

Rafat Salami

The World Health Organisations has asked African nations to provide more funding for malaria programmes, to reduce the burden on the continent.

In a new malaria report World Malaria Report 2016 , the WHO said governments of malaria-endemic countries provided about 31% of total malaria funding in 2015, while international partners provided the rest. WHO however said the funding has thinned out making meeting the malaria elimination targets difficult.

According to the WHO, “In 2015, malaria funding totalled US$ 2.9 billion, representing only 45% of the funding milestone for 2020 (US$ 6.4 billion).”

According to the report, more people in Sub Sahara Africa have greater access to malaria treatment and prevention, but says large gaps remain to be bridged.

The WHO’s World Malaria Report 2016  said “children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa have greater access to effective malaria control”.

The report says, diagnostic testing enables health providers to rapidly detect malaria and prescribe life-saving treatment. “New findings presented in the report show that, in 2015, approximately half (51%) of children with a fever seeking care at a public health facility in 22 African countries received a diagnostic test for malaria, compared to 29% in 2010.”, the report showed.

For pregnant women, the report showed that “there was a five-fold increase in the percentage of women receiving the recommended 3 or more doses of this preventive treatment in 20 African countries…coverage reached 31% in 2015, up from 6% in 2010.”

The report also showed that Insecticide-treated nets which are the cornerstone of malaria prevention efforts in Africa, have increased as more than half (53%) of the population at risk in sub-Saharan Africa slept under a treated net in 2015, compared to 30% in 2010.

However, the report says malaria remains an acute public health problem, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, as there were 212 million new cases of malaria and 429 000 deaths worldwide in 2015.

“There are still substantial gaps in the coverage of core malaria control tools. In 2015, an estimated 43% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa was not protected by treated nets or indoor spraying with insecticides, the primary methods of malaria vector control,” the report showed.

In Africa, the report showed that many children who had fever did not receive care in a health facility…”in 2015, a large proportion (36%) of children with a fever were not taken to a health facility for care in 23 African countries.” http://www.who.int/malaria/publications/world-malaria-report-2016/report/en/


Nigeria’s Malaria Elimination Programme

According to Nigeria’s Malaria Programe, the disease constitutes a huge epidemiologic burden in Africa and continues to cripple the economic development in the region. In Nigeria, the disease is responsible for 60% outpatient visits to health facilities, 30% childhood death, 25% of death in children under one year and 11% maternal death.

In 2015, Nigeria launched the National Malaria Strategic Plan 2014 – 2020 which targets the  reduction of  malaria prevalence to less than 5% and malaria related deaths to zero by 2020.

The major national targets as outlined in the National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP) 2014-2020 are as follows:

  • At least 80 percent of targeted populations utilise appropriate preventive measures by 2020.
  • To ensure that all persons with suspected malaria who seek care are tested with RDTs or microscopy by 2020.
  • All persons with malaria seen in private, public health facilities or community agents receive prompt treatment with an effective anti-malarial drug by 2020
  • At least 80 percent of the population practice appropriate malaria prevention and management by 2020
  • Put in place a system for timely availability of appropriate antimalarial medicines and commodities required for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria in Nigeria by 2018
  • At least 80 percent of health facilities in all LGAs report routinely on malaria by 2020, progress is measured, and evidence is used for programme improvement
  • To strengthen governance and coordination of all stakeholders for effective programme implementation towards an ‘A’ rating by 2017 that is sustained through to 2020 on a standardised scorecard.

Rafat S.