The Thompson Reuters Foundation reports on the ambitious, donor-led effort to eliminate malaria, focusing on a campaign in Tanzania fronted by the African nation’s former president.
Jakaya Kikwete has committed to the eradication effort since leaving office last year, even appearing in television commercials urging Tanzanians to use bednets as protection from malaria-carrying mosquitos. A to Z Textile Mills in Arusha, Tanzania, Africa's largest bednet maker, has given away tens of millions of nets since 2009, primarily through support from the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the Obama administration.
The Global Fund receives much of its backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates has called on donors to double worldwide spending on malaria by 2025 with a goal of extinguishing the disease by 2040. Malaria struck some 214 million people last year — 90 percent of them in Africa — and killed an estimated 438,000. A sharp decline in cases has accompanied a more than 20-fold increase in spending on the disease, from $130 million in 2000 to $2.7 billion in 2015, most of it from U.S. government.