African leaders warn of deadly malaria emergency and call for urgent action to address unprecedented funding shortfall

23 Sep 2023
Photo: UNGA

African Union Heads of State and Government, global health leaders and development partners today issued a joint call for urgent action to address the looming malaria emergency. They warned that failure to act now will put at risk both the African Union’s target of eliminating malaria in Africa by 2030, and the UN target of ending malaria epidemics by 2030.

At a press briefing, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday, leaders warned that the world is facing the biggest malaria emergency of the last two decades, due to a perfect storm of climate change, growing resistance impacting the efficacy of insecticides, antimalarials and rapid diagnostic tests as well as inadequate funding linked to the global financial crisis.

Examples were shared of how the ongoing global financial crisis has led to significant increases in the cost of delivering essential malaria interventions. Countries are now facing increasing levels of insecticide and drug resistance requiring newer, more expensive tools and approaches to be effectively addressed. Leaders also shared how the impacts of climate change, including a rise in extreme weather events such as temperature increases, flooding and cyclones, and the resulting humanitarian emergencies, are expanding the areas impacted by malaria and the costs of delivering programmes. These higher costs are leading to the reversal of previously hard-won gains against malaria. For further details, please read the original story.