KIGALI and SEATTLE (June 23, 2022) – Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today announced a commitment of $140 million over four years to support new initiatives and research led by institutions and organizations. African leaders who are accelerating progress towards the elimination of malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and contributing to the continent’s recovery from COVID-19. French Gates made the announcement at the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases on the sidelines of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, alongside African Heads of State and Ministers and world dignitaries.
French Gates highlighted the remarkable progress that Africans and their partners have made against preventable infectious diseases. “Over the past two decades, it has been inspiring to see how leaders have come together to fight malaria and neglected tropical diseases,” said French Gates, who spoke at the Kigali summit. “African government officials, health workers, advocates and scientists have contributed to significant reductions in mortality and other impacts of these diseases on communities. Tremendous leadership and collaboration with multilateral organizations, donor countries and pharmaceutical companies saves lives and helps people live up to their full potential.
However, the pace of progress has slowed, prompting French Gates to call for renewed support to fight malaria and NTDs. She urged donors, the private sector and governments of affected countries to increase investment to fight these diseases and other health threats and to continue developing life-saving innovations. This includes achieving the $18 billion target for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which will hold its seventh replenishment conference later this year, and committing to the Declaration of Kigali on NTDs, which was signed by world leaders at the Kigali Summit. . Together, these investments will lead to more resilient health systems and contribute to a more equitable world.
The Gates Foundation commitments announced today include:
- A pledge of $140 million over four years to further support the work of African institutions and organizations to rapidly reduce malaria cases and deaths. This includes supporting promising research and development around new, more effective vector control treatments, interventions and tools. The funding will also go towards increased use of modeling and data that help community health workers better target interventions, as well as genomic disease surveillance systems that help countries track insecticide and drug resistance. and fight other emerging diseases. Finally, the support will capitalize on the increasing use of innovative financing through the National End Malaria Councils and Funds.
- Support for the establishment of the Mwele Malecela mentorship program for women with NTDs in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). The initiative, named after scientist and NTD advocate Mwele Malecela, will help at least 40 women leverage mentorship, leadership training, skills-building courses and networking opportunities to overcome barriers and become leaders in eliminating NTDs by 2030. women living in Africa who are mid-career in their work with NTDs will be able to apply from this year.
- The launch of Accelerate Resilient, Innovative, and Sustainable Elimination of NTDs (ARISE) in collaboration with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and ELMA Philanthropies. ARISE is a new philanthropic funding mechanism focused on country priorities and leadership. Specifically, it will support country-led efforts to scale up interventions and optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of NTD programs.
“Through renewed investments in malaria and NTDs, we can help end these endemic diseases and prevent future pandemics by improving disease surveillance and strengthening the health systems that have enabled decades of progress” , said Bill Gates, co-chairman of Bill & Melinda. Gates Foundation.
Malaria deaths have been halved since 2000, and hundreds of millions fewer people need treatment for NTDs than a decade ago. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed immense challenges to African communities. Despite heroic efforts by African countries to mitigate these challenges, there is a risk that progress will not continue without additional investment.
“The potential for a rapid decline in deaths and cases of malaria is looming on the horizon,” said Philip Welkhoff, director of the malaria program at the Gates Foundation. “African countries are leading the way, and strong partnerships and increased funding are needed to increase access to life-saving tools and bring next-generation technologies and innovations to the finish line, to save more lives and end to these diseases.
The Kigali Declaration on NTDs calls on world leaders to increase political and financial commitments that support WHO’s ambitious new 2030 roadmap on NTDs. Its signing comes 10 years after the Gates Foundation spearheaded the London Declaration on NTDs, which catalyzed a significant increase in funding, drug donations, advocacy and expertise to end NTDs.
“Although NTDs continue to affect more than 1.7 billion people worldwide, these diseases are preventable and treatable,” said Katey Owen, director of Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Gates Foundation, which has spent about $300 million over the past three years as part of its longstanding commitment to ending NTDs. “By encouraging women’s leadership and focusing country priorities, we can defeat NTDs and invest in the health and well-being of those most at risk to create a safer and more equal world.”
The Gates Foundation’s new commitments build on its tradition of supporting the continent in its efforts to create a stronger health and development ecosystem, including through partnerships with key regional bodies such as the Africa Control Centers. and Disease Prevention and the African Union, as well as African research institutes and African governments. The Gates Foundation has also supported the Global Partnership to End NTDs since 2012 and has supported the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and other malaria programs for over 20 years. This year marks 15 years since French Gates called for the eradication of malaria at the World Malaria Forum.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation strives to help everyone lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and empowering them to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it aims to ensure that all people, especially those with the fewest resources, have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and in life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the leadership of co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.