Nigeria’s GDP could gain $35bn from global malaria fight – Report

The GDP of Nigeria could rise by $35 billion if the UN target to significantly reduce malaria by 2030 is met – the largest economic gain globally, according to a new report. 

The report, titled ‘The Malaria Dividend’, said African countries may see a $126.9 billion boost in GDP if the target to cut malaria by 90% from 2015 levels by 2030 is met.

 The research also showed reaching this goal could generate an additional $31 billion in exports to some of the most affected malaria endemic countries in Africa, with an almost $4 billion rise for G7 countries, almost $1.5 billion for the US and more than $450 million for the UK.

Other African countries that stand to benefit the most include Kenya (over $9bn) and Angola ($8.5bn), based on the size of their economies and high prevalence of malaria.

The report said this economic dividend could be partly used to further strengthen the health sector through enhanced diagnostic capacity, healthcare workforce and stronger primary healthcare infrastructure.

“In doing so, these countries could be better prepared to prevent and fight future threats, such as new diseases with pandemic potential, making all countries, including G7 nations, safer and better prepared.”

Malaria No More UK, which commissioned the research, is calling for malaria-endemic and donor countries to increase their investments in the fight to end malaria to save millions of lives, unlock prosperity and bolster health security.

Malaria currently claims the lives of over 600,000 people a year, and the World Health Organization estimates that malaria interventions have contributed to the prevention of 2.1 billion cases and 11.7 million deaths between 2000 and 2022.

Whilst children represent around three quarters of global malaria deaths, infections also impact the working age population and can constrain economic growth through employee absenteeism, diminished income, reduced income tax and additional healthcare costs.

Children suffering from malaria can also experience frequent absences from school, hindering their educational progress and eventual economic contribution, as well as creating a significant additional burden on healthcare services and for the parents caring for them.

The analysis comes ahead of the G7 Summit hosted in Italy on 13-15 June.

The G7 has helped establish global health initiatives such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which plays a vital role in increasing access to vaccines, and The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has long been critical to increasing access to tools and treatments to combat malaria.

 “Investing more in the fight to end malaria can save millions of lives, grow African economies and boost trade. This can unlock new funds to bolster health spending and strengthen health security in African countries and globally, showing how malaria investment can rebalance economic power and deliver wide-ranging benefits,” Astrid Bonfield, chief executive officer of Malaria No More UK, said.

“The rise in global trade with African countries also allows other nations to keep the disease at bay by sustaining malaria research and development funding and continuing to invest in life sciences more widely to tackle other infectious diseases.”

  

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