British All-Party Malaria Group Calls For More Action On Malaria

June 24, 2005

The British All-Party Parliamentary Malaria Group has warned that efforts to tackle poverty in Africa are doomed unless they also tackle the continent's burden of malaria. A new report entitled "Tackle Malaria Today: Give Tomorrow a Chance" (pdf) says that "any new initiative for Africa must be accompanied by a massive and sustained science-based and operationally practical scale-up of efforts to stamp out malaria on the continent". The report quotes Mozambique's former Prime Minister, Pascoal Mocumbi, who warned that "malaria traps countries in a vicious cycle of poverty and ill health. Progress by African countries in expanding their economies and reducing poverty over the past decade is now endangered by a failure to use our collective knowledge, wisdom and resources to bring essential medical advances to bear for the benefit of all our citizens".The All-Party Parliamentary Malaria Group calculates that tackling malaria is highly cost effective. The World Bank estimates that malaria cuts African GDP by 1.3 percent every year, costing African economies 12 billion US dollars annually.The report warns that lack of funds remains the major obstacle to malaria vaccine development. Total annual funding for vaccine development has increased from 42 million dollars in 1999 to 85 million in 2004, which is still only a tenth of what is being invested in HIV vaccine development.The report welcomed Gordon Brown's call, in November 2004, for an advance purchase commitment.


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