Investing In Malaria Eradication Critical To Eliminating Poverty, Ending Preventable Child Deaths
Project Syndicate: Finishing Off Malaria
Shamas-ur-Rehman Toor, senior program management specialist at the Islamic Development Bank Group’s Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development
“…[T]he Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) — a grant facility launched by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — has joined Senegal’s fight against malaria. … Administered by the IsDB, the LLF is the biggest initiative of its kind based in the Middle East, aiming to increase the resources available for development across the 30 least-developed and lower-middle-income countries in the Muslim world. … One of the LLF’s first projects will be a $32 million malaria pre-elimination project in Senegal. … Investments in combating malaria, like those by the LLF, are among the most cost-effective health interventions, yielding broad socioeconomic benefits. A healthy child is more likely to attend school, resulting in improved learning outcomes, just as a healthy adult can earn a steady income, resulting in reduced poverty and hunger. Healthy workers are more productive, boosting economic output. Malaria-free communities can divert their health budgets to fight other scourges, such as non-communicable or neglected tropical diseases. Progress in the fight against malaria will mean progress toward several Sustainable Development Goals (the United Nations targets to which world leaders agreed in 2015), from eliminating poverty to ending preventable deaths in children under age five. If we are to win the fight, more financing from funds like the LLF, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the way to do it” (4/7).