Asia-Pacific turns to innovative finance to stamp out malaria

Devex, Sep 13, 2018
by Jenny Lei Ravelo

HANOI, Vietnam — With grant funding for malaria drying up, global health advocates have come to this year’s World Economic Forum on ASEAN with a pitch for more innovative financing — including from institutions such as the Asian Development Bank.

The Asia-Pacific region has recorded declines in malaria cases since 2010 including a 48 percent drop in cases in Southeast Asia and 8 percent in Western Pacific. But the burden of malaria remains a critical public health issue. Papua New Guinea has seen a 700 percent surge in malaria cases in the past five years, while countries in the Greater Mekong subregion continue to battle parasite resistance to artemisinin and a number of partner drugs.

Early in 2018, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria dedicated over $240 million for more than three years to eliminate the deadly drug-resistant strain of malaria in the region. And countries here are now covering more than 50 percent of the total volume of investments going to malaria control, said Benjamin Rolfe, chief executive officer at the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance.

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