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Global Fund’s Continued Support to India’s Malaria Fight Is Critical for Eliminating the Disease by 2030

Business Wire India
Malaria No More (MNM) commends India’s commitment to increase its overall health allocations to 2.5% of GDP at Global Fund’s Preparatory Meeting for Sixth Replenishment. Honourable Prime Minister’s vision to eliminate malaria from India is laudable, it requires enhanced investment and stronger civil society participation.

India was the only high burden country that marked a 24% decline in malaria cases between 2016 and 2017, according to the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report 2018, and has steadily driven down reported malaria cases by more than half and malaria deaths by two-thirds, since 2000. India’s progress against malaria is due, in part, to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).

“India’s recent progress against the disease underscores the importance of ensuring gains are sustained and eliminating malaria in India by 2030 remains a priority for the government and the Global Fund,” said Pratik Kumar, Acting Country Director of Malaria No More India. “India’s malaria fight needs over Rs 10,000 crore till 2022, this requires increased investments from the government and other donors.”

Since 2005, Global Fund has invested over $2 billion in India to fight the three diseases, out of which only around $200 million has been disbursed for malaria. Global Fund’s support has enabled life-saving interventions including bed nets, anti-malarial drugs and strengthening of health systems that helped protect those most vulnerable, including millions of children and pregnant women. This funding catalyzed additional investment by India’s Central and State governments to fight malaria, helping reduce the disease burden and mortality substantially.

To accelerate the end of the three infectious diseases by 2030, the Global Fund is calling for countries to step up their investments to at least $14 billion for the next three years. These funds will help save an additional 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and prevent 234 million new infections from the three diseases.

“A cornerstone of India’s momentum against malaria and its commitment to eliminate the disease is sustained support from Global Fund,” said Dr. P.L. Joshi, Senior Advisor of Malaria No More India.

India has the world’s fourth highest malaria burden and 1.25 billion Indians continue to remain at risk of malaria. India has pledged to eliminate the disease by 2030. Global Fund’s continued support for India’s malaria fight is imperative to achieving elimination through filling of critical gaps that aren’t covered by country resources, such as replacing life-saving LLINs and other anti-malaria tools, and health systems strengthening support to reach the most marginalized.

“Past history shows us that when the primacy accorded to malaria control slips, gains are reversed and the disease resurges. The time to step up the fight is now as India is at a stage where ending malaria is possible. The country’s commitment to increase its overall health allocations to 2.5% of GDP is a move in the right direction. India’s continuing progress is critical to advancing global efforts to end malaria,” said Dr. P.L. Joshi, Senior Advisor of Malaria No More India.
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