14 November 2023
GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) welcomes a contribution by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation of US$1 million to support the Global Fund’s MOSASWA regional grant, a trilateral agreement between the governments of Mozambique, South Africa and Eswatini to accelerate malaria elimination in Southern Africa.
“The Southern African region has been hit hard by the impacts of climate change. Heavy rains and floods have caused a spike in malaria infection rates and deaths,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Malaria-carrying mosquitos know no man-made borders, and cross-border initiatives such as the MOSASWA regional grant will continue to increase in importance. We are extremely grateful to our partner the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation for their support, which will significantly contribute to bringing the region closer to achieving sustained malaria elimination.”
Cross-border cooperation and coordination is essential to successfully eliminating malaria. Historically, the borders between South Africa, Eswatini and Mozambique have a high incidence of malaria and the MOSASWA regional grant was set up as part of the countries’ joint malaria response. South Africa and Eswatini today are in the “last mile” of malaria elimination, but the region has a large mobile population, frequently crossing borders as part of daily life, resulting in a wider spread of the malaria parasites. This, in combination with the impacts of climate change, has made it necessary to scale up and increase malaria prevention in areas where the disease is spreading.
“The Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation works with communities near the Southern African borders to end the heavy burden that malaria inflicts on individual families and on communities at large. The global investments made to advance the science of malaria control and elimination only pay off when communities have access to the improved malaria-fighting tools that have been developed,” said Chris Flowers, from the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation. “The MOSASWA regional grant aligns with our vision to ensure that communities affected by malaria play a central role in the elimination of the disease.”
The Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation’s contribution will further be bolstered by matching funds of US$0.5 match per dollar by the United States Congress, as well as a US$1 match per dollar by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, resulting in a US$2.5 million total commitment to the Global Fund.
“This contribution by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation demonstrates the crucial importance of private sector and philanthropic organizations supporting and investing in country-led initiatives to end malaria regionally and globally – especially at a time when the impact of climate change on the fight against malaria is becoming ever more obvious,” said Philip Welkhoff, director of Malaria at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The interventions funded by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation include elements such as the provision of rapid diagnostic tests and treatment; buffer spraying along key border areas between the three countries; community-led monitoring to ensure access to diagnosis and treatment; strengthening the regional laboratory network and training laboratory staff; and entomological support for the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
“The prevalence of malaria in border areas is higher because of lower access to health services, migrant mobility, and difficulties in deploying prevention programs to hard-to-reach communities. To combat this, we need to close the funding gaps in malaria elimination programs” said Sherwin Charles from Goodbye Malaria. “As malaria knows no border, neither does our fight against it. Anne and Chris Flowers’ support not only brings hope to affected communities, but also underscores the importance of cross-border collaboration allowing for the amplification of inter-faith advocacy, creating a path to saving countless lives.”
The Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation’s support will significantly contribute to the success of the MOSASWA regional grant and malaria elimination in both South Africa and Eswatini.