UNITAID, IVCC Launch $65 Million Anti-Malaria Initiative in Africa

UNITAID, IVCC Launch $65 Million Anti-Malaria Initiative in Africa

UNITAID and IVCC (Innovative Vector Control Consortium) have announced a four-year, $65.1 million initiative to expand the use of new anti-malarial insecticides in sixteen African nations.

The Next Generation Indoor Residual Spray (NgenIRS) initiative will support countries with high disease burdens in obtaining new and effective insecticides at lower prices as part of a campaign to fight growing insecticide resistance among malaria-carrying mosquitos. Funded by UNITAID and based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the initiative is an IVCC-led partnership that includes the President's Malaria Initiative, Abt Associates, and PATH's MACEPA (Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa) program, working in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, leading insecticide manufacturers, and national malaria control programs.

According to UNITAID and IVCC, indoor spraying of walls in homes and commercial properties has fallen by 40 percent in the past four years due to increased resistance to older formulations and the higher cost of new alternatives. Using a UNITAID subsidy mechanism, NgenIRS will help reduce the price of effective insecticides in the short term — from $23.50 to $15 per bottle by 2020 — while working to reduce procurement costs in the long term through improved forecasting and increased competition among manufacturers. Countries that will be involved initially include Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, and Zambia.

"The initiative is about bolstering the central role of insecticides in controlling malaria," said UNITAID executive director Lelio Marmora. "If the resistance continues to spread unabated, there could be a hundred and twenty thousand more deaths from malaria a year. Unless newer insecticides are used, we run the risk of considerable reversals in the fight against malaria."

"New Initiative to Boost Malaria Control and Combat Insecticide Resistance." UNITAID and IVCC Press Release 02/01/2016. "UNITAID and IVCC Are Making New Malarial Insecticides Cheaper." UNITAID and IVCC Fact Sheet 02/01/2016.