2015 will play a pivotal role in Malaria funding for not only this year, but for many years to come. Lindsay Graham, senator of South Carolina and advocate in the fight against Malaria explains how the drop in funding by the United States and other countries in the world could cause for a Malaria epidemic in some countries.
Graham explained, “Look at the lives saved and the infrastructure that’s been developed in the last ten years, All of that’s at risk. You’ll be pulling back at a time when you’re just about to get over the finish line.” With the United States funding expected to decrease, the World Health Organization is concerned for what this could mean for the world in its fight against the deadly parasite. From 2000-2013 the World Health Organization noted the number of infections dropped from 173 million to 128 million. This number is significant since Graham believes we are on the cusp of getting over the disease and controlling its spread.
One of the biggest organizations funding the fight against Malaria is the Global Fund who is expected to increase funding, along with the US government to $701 million in 2015. The problem in the funding is coming from countries around the world who are cutting their expenses on fighting Malaria.
According to Scott Filler, The Global Fund’s senior disease coordinator for malaria stated, “Malaria is a very smart disease, Both the mosquitoes and the parasite itself really can thwart biologically what we try to do.” The Global Fund understands and is educating the world on how these bugs can adapt, and not continuing the fight them in attempts to wipe Malaria out completely.
The Global Fund has explained the drop in funding in such a manner, “if we are buying ten mosquito nets, and you (other countries) need to buy only two nets, those countries are not meeting us and getting those two extra nets.” When it comes to a bigger picture, those two nets can essentially cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
Dr. Filler is hoping “the importance of emerging economies of India, Brazil and China to become Global Fund donors. Regional cooperation — neighbor helping neighbor — could become more common.” The Global Fund and the rest of the world can hope the funding for Malaria continues in hopes to eradicate the disease.