The University of California, San Francisco has announced a four-year, $29 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of its Global Health Group's Malaria Elimination Initiative.
The grant will support MEI's efforts to accelerate malaria elimination globally, with a focus on the Asia Pacific region and southern Africa. In partnership with national malaria programs, the initiative will develop and test new tools for diagnosis, surveillance, and vector control and build the financial and political commitment required to achieve and sustain zero malaria transmission. The initiative also will work to address gaps in the research agenda, drawing on evolutionary biology, other disease eradication efforts, land use patterns, and economics, among other fields.
This year, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, and all of Europe have been declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization, while nearly thirty countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East are projected to eliminate malaria within five years. However, according to the Global Health Group, the remaining malaria-endemic countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East require evidence-based tools to reduce the number of cases to zero and prevent future outbreaks.
"Despite significant gains in malaria control, the disease remains a huge problem globally. The World Health Organization estimates that there were more than two hundred million new cases of malaria worldwide, and more than four hundred thousand people died from the disease in 2015," said Sir Richard Feachem, director of the Global Health Group. "This reinvestment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enable UCSF and our partners to create an engineered future of rapid regional elimination to achieve a world free of malaria within a generation."