Donors reduce funding for malaria programmes

Tuesday December 17 2019

A mother carries home an insecticide-treated mosquito net.

A mother carries home an insecticide-treated mosquito net. Malaria remains a big risk in East Africa despite the gains in the fight against the disease. PHOTO | AFP 

ANGELA OKETCH
By ANGELA OKETCH
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Malaria remains a big risk in East Africa despite the gains in the fight against the disease, the World Report has warned, turning the spotlight on reduction on donor funding, low domestic funding and prevention campaigns.

From the report, donor funding has been reducing from 2016 to 2018 hence affecting the fight against malaria with the endemic countries relying so much on international funders.

For example, the WHO report showed that the Global Fund was the biggest funder on anti-malaria campaigns in Kenya contributing Ksh6 billion ($60 million) in 2017, followed by the USAid at Ksh3.5 billion ($35 million) and the UK at Ksh240 million ($2.4 million).

Contrastingly, the Kenya government only allocated Ksh100 million ($1 million) to fight the disease, confirmation of over-reliance on donors to help fight the disease that affects a huge portion of the population.

Rwanda is leading in domestic allocation at $1.7 million followed by Uganda ($0.7million) and Tanzania ($0.5 million) while Kenya is the least at $0.1 million.

With the reduction in donor funding, countries need to rethink or else they will suffer a major setback in their fight against malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/Aids.

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The report shows that donor funding from the Global Fund, reduced from $60 million in 2017 to $12.4 million in 2018, a $48 million decline.

The Global Fund has reduced its funding to Rwanda from $17 million in 2017 to $10 million in 2018.

Tanzania is the only country that did not receive funding from malaria control in 2018. The funding reduced from $72 million to zero.

The fund’s cash is mainly used for commodities and life-saving medicines for HIV/Aids, TB and malaria, the three infectious diseases that are among the leading causes of death.

In 2017, Tanzania requested $703.4 million from the Global Fund for its HIV, TB and malaria programmes as well as for building resilient and sustainable systems for health.

The country submitted an integrated TB/HIV funding request as well as a malaria request, the TB/HIV funding request was for $426.3 million, of which $38.4 million was a prioritised above allocation request.

It is only in Uganda that the Global Fund increased malaria control by $10 million from $54 million in 2017 to $64 million in 2018.

Although the Treasury in Kenya has never revealed the reasons behind the cut in donor support, financiers had earlier expressed concern over poor accounting at the Ministry of Health and endemic corruption.