Malaria

Malaria is both preventable and treatable, yet this mosquito-borne infectious disease takes the life of a child every 30 seconds. It is a major health burden in more than 100 countries and poses a constant threat to economic stability in endemic regions. Fighting malaria faces two challenges: transmission patterns vary from location to location, complicating efforts to target the disease, and resistance to antimalarial drugs is spreading rapidly. CDDEP researchers participate in the Malaria Atlas Project, a spatial database that combines medical intelligence and climate data to track malaria transmission and prevalence. Using a bioeconomic model of malaria transmission and evolution of drug resistance to define optimal treatment strategies, they are developing a strategic plan to tackle the disease. Regional, cross-border coordination will be essential to slow both transmission and the spread of drug-resistant strains. ACTs, artemisinin-based combination therapies, are effective and can limit the development of further resistance to a valuable antimalarial, but they are expensive. Applying tools from economics, CDDEP researchers helped develop an innovative financing arrangement, the Affordable Medicines Facility–malaria—a global subsidy to make these drugs affordable while addressing the public goods problem of resistance.