Sustained global efforts to drive malaria cases and deaths down over the last two decades have saved over 7 million lives and prevented more than 1 billion cases. Yet despite incredible progress, malaria remains a threat for people around the world, causing over 400,000 deaths in 2018 – and more than 90% of these deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In some African countries, malaria reduces GDP growth by up to an estimated 1.3% and places a significant burden on private-sector businesses. The disease continues to affect company profits across the African continent and beyond – through employee absenteeism, reduced productivity, and escalating benefit costs. Malaria among a company’s employees also increases the potential for transmission to the wider local community, which then impacts the local economy through the deterioration of human capital, losses in savings, and investments and tax revenues.
Private sector participation in malaria control and elimination can energize national goals by bringing more partners and resources to the table. The private sector has a vested interest in achieving malaria elimination as a healthier workforce means a healthier economy. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over US$10 billion is needed to implement national strategic malaria control plans in 30 African countries over the next three years.
This collaboration will support communities at risk of malaria across the continent by advocating for stronger political will, increased funding, and more targeted malaria elimination responses.