Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)

Financing Elimination in the Asia Pacific

Leaders in the Asia Pacific have committed to ending malaria in the region by 2030. To achieve this goal, countries will need to mobilize additional resources while maximizing the impact of current financing. Robust economic evidence to understand and articulate the costs and benefits of elimination, and measures to improve the efficient utilization of existing resources, are key to mobilizing additional financing.

With support from the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA), the Asian Development Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) has developed a new body of evidence and tools that support efforts to increase the amount of sustainable financing in support of the APLMA Leaders Roadmap goal of a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030.

Read a Q&A about the new research with MEI’s Rima Shretta, APLMA’s Ben Rolfe, and ADB’s Susann Roth.

Investment cases analyzing the costs and benefits of malaria elimination

To assess the economic rationale for malaria elimination, the MEI developed three national investment cases in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea (PNG), as well as two regional investment cases in Asia Pacific and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Each case estimates the costs and economic and financial returns of malaria elimination through 2030. National and regional policymakers can use this evidence to inform program budgeting, strategic planning, and advocacy for domestic resource mobilization.

The economic and social benefits of elimination were estimated using the Malaria Elimination Transmission and Costing in the Asia Pacific (METCAP), a transmission model created by the MEI in collaboration with Mahidol Oxford Tropical Diseases Research Unit (MORU) and the University of Cape Town, that predicts the rates of decline to elimination by 2030 and determines the associated costs (Table 1).

Table 1. Summary of projected malaria elimination costs and benefits

 

Cost of current malaria activities (USD)

Cost to reach elimination (USD)

Lives saved

Malaria cases averted

Return on investment

Economic benefits generated (USD)

Bangladesh

20.4 million

344 million

1,577

829,605

7:1

300 million

Indonesia

147 million

2 billion

41,000

25 million

10:1

18 billion

PNG

N/A

425 million

7,000

3.9 million

9:1

1.9 billion

GMS

N/A

2.5 billion

91,000

23.5 million

5:1

9 billion

Asia Pacific

N/A

29 billion

400,000

123 million

6:1

90 billion

Business cases for private sector investments

External funding for the global malaria response has plateaued since 2010, and lower burden countries pursuing elimination tend to be a lesser priority for global donors. Mobilizing and leveraging the expertise and resources of the private sector presents an unparalleled opportunity to bridge funding gaps and accelerate progress in the region. The MEI has developed business case studies for the GMS, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea that assess the motivators, enablers and incentives regarding private sector investment in malaria elimination.

Toolkit for assessing efficiency gains

Health systems and public health programs are under increasing pressure to ensure that available resources are used efficiently to deliver services and provide value for money. The Malaria Program Efficiency Analysis Tool (MPEAT) was developed by the MEI to help malaria program managers collect, organize, and track data points related to the technical efficiency of a malaria program. MPEAT enables users to compare specific epidemiological, financial, and operational indicators between two years and against performance targets set by the program. The MPEAT has been used in Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, and Indonesia to identify areas that need strengthening with the objective of maximizing value, reducing waste, and ultimately saving resources.

Private sector case studies

Tools and applications