AFM Africa Malaria Day Analysis

Richard Tren, Philip Coticelli, Roger Bate & Kathryn Boateng | 23 Apr 2007
Africa Fighting Malaria

Africa Malaria Day, April 25th, commemorates the 1.2 million people lost each year to a preventable and curable disease. Malaria is the biggest killer of African kids. Half a billion people suffer from it annually, reducing economic productivity around the world. Political will and public funding to target this disease are increasing, but there is still room to improve efforts to measure, assess, and inform evidence-based policies and programs. Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) provides analysis of:

OECD donor accountability for how public funds are spent on malaria. [Full Report]

The impact of WHOPES on the availability of long-lasting insecticidal nets, the dominant OECD donor strategy for malaria control.

And OECD donor targets for reducing malaria and the likelihood of achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

AFM's malaria-donor scorecard shows the US and UK to be notable exceptions to a largely opaque and insular donor community. Most donor agencies (15 out of 23) declined or ignored requests for basic program information. Of the 8 donor agencies that responded, only 5 provided an adequate amount of information about how malaria control funds were spent. Only one agency, USAID, provided detailed information on monitoring and evaluation of its malaria control spending.

Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LNs) are the most popular donor-funded malaria control intervention. AFM's analysis shows one company, Vestergaard-Frandsen S.A., manufactures 75 percent of currently available LNs and maintains 60 percent of global production capacity. New applicant reviews by the World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) have taken two years on average. During this time, potentially qualified products are unable to compete for OECD public tenders requiring WHOPES recommendation. By restricting competition, donors have inadvertently kept prices high and limited the availability of life-saving LNs.

Donors have focused much more funding on procuring inputs like LNs than on measuring how these tools impact malaria cases and related deaths. AFM's analysis shows that most disease reduction targets, such as the Roll Back Malaria Partnership's goal to halve malaria by 2010 and the Millennium Development Goal to halt and reverse the spread of malaria by 2015, are immeasurable or not measured. Most public funding for disease is vaguely evidence-based and so hardly-cost effective. The US President's Malaria Initiative is the only target-setting body to substantially invest in improving epidemiological data collection and surveillance.

Contact Details

Richard Tren
Africa Fighting Malaria

Philip Coticelli
Africa Fighting Malaria

Roger Bate
American Enterprise Institute
Africa Fighting Malaria