Earlier this year, the global burden of malaria made the news when a study in the Lancet rolled out new malaria mortality estimates. The findings suggested that malaria may cause as many as 1.24 million deaths annually—previous estimates had concluded that malaria claimed the lives of just half this number. The higher estimates of disease burden brought renewed attention to the current resources available to combat malaria, a disease most often prevalent among the poor and vulnerable in many developing countries.
In recent global health history, malaria has often been an afterthought, losing out to efforts such as strengthening health systems and HIV prevention and treatment. For example, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) operated on a budget of just $1.2 billion from 2005 through 2010, while the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was funded with more than six times this amount over the same period. Globally, over 90 percent of all funding for malaria comes from just two sources, the PMI and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.