News Releases

Global Fund has helped to save 830,000 lives from Malaria since 2002

19 October 2011

Geneva – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis Malaria has invested $4.1 billion since 2002 to fight malaria, helping to save 830,000 lives by the end of 2010 through a dramatic increase in use of insecticide-treated nets and effective anti-malaria drugs in countries where the disease is endemic. An additional $2.18 billion in financing for malaria has been approved but not yet disbursed.

By mid-2011 results from programs that receive Global Fund support showed that 190 million insecticide-treated bed nets had been distributed to protect families from malaria.
Of these, 70 million bed nets were distributed in the twelve months to the end of June, 2011. Assuming a bed net protects two people, the additional bed nets enabled an estimated 140 million more people to protect themselves against malaria.

Global Fund investments have also played a critical role in expanding coverage of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in countries where the malaria parasite is now resistant to older drugs.

As well as the substantial expansion in coverage of bed nets to prevent malaria, there has been a big increase in the number of people protected by indoor residual spraying of insecticides. Some 36 million indoor residual spraying services were provided, a 31% increase from a year ago.

Progress in controlling malaria is prompting a growing number of countries to set their sights on eliminating a disease which still causes an estimated 780,000 deaths annually.

A new report released by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, prior to the opening of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Malaria Forum in Seattle, identifies 7 countries that have recently eliminated malaria and another 10 countries monitoring transmission with a view to arrive at zero malaria cases. A further 9 countries out of a total of 108 malaria-endemic countries and territories are also getting ready to move towards nationwide elimination of malaria, according to the report.

The Global Fund accounts for two-thirds of all international funding for malaria.

It also hosts the Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria (AMFm), an international initiative to make effective anti-malaria drugs affordable and put them within reach of people in often remote communities in Africa, which is making rapid progress. In four implementing countries, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar and Nigeria life-saving malaria treatments can now be bought in private stores and pharmacies for as little as 50 U.S. cents.

Before the launch of the program -- which gets financial support from UNITAID, the United Kingdom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and technical support from members of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership -- these treatments cost up to 20 times as much.

Last week the Global Fund said, in a joint announcement with Unicef, that together with the UK Department for International Development it was scaling up its response to a potential malaria outbreak in Somalia. The Global Fund is also working with the Kenyan and Ethiopian authorities to protect the Somali population in refugee camps in these countries from the risk of a malaria outbreak as the rainy season approaches.

More than 950,000 nets have been distributed in Somalia with funding from the Global Fund since 2002. The number of malaria cases in Somalia has decreased dramatically during recent years, from an estimated 1.73 million cases in 2005 to approximately 740,000 cases in 2009 - a 57 per cent drop.