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UK announces £7.4 million funding for access to malaria drugs in Sub-Saharan Africa

The UK government has recently announced a £7.4 million funding to improve access to malaria drugs, aiming to combat one of the leading causes of death among children in sub-Saharan Africa. This support will be channeled through MedAccess to negotiate lower prices for essential malaria drugs and diagnostic tests in countries affected by the disease.

The total UK support to MedAccess now stands at £17.4 million, enabling 1 million individuals to access new diagnostic tests and 120 million patients to receive anti-malarial treatments. MedAccess plays a crucial role in ensuring stable supply and affordable prices by guaranteeing sales volumes in uncertain demand markets. This initiative is expected to provide access to drugs and other essential items to over 50 million people within the next three years. Additionally, UK-Indian developed vaccines are being distributed to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Benin, further contributing to the fight against malaria.

Today’s announcement coincides with World Malaria Day, emphasizing the importance of continued efforts to combat this disease and mobilize resources to protect communities worldwide. Deputy Foreign Secretary and Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, highlighted the significant impact of British science in developing life-saving malaria vaccines that will safeguard millions of lives.

However, it is imperative that we also prioritize the affordability of drugs for countries in need. The prevention of malaria-related deaths is entirely possible, and the support provided by the UK to MedAccess ensures that these countries can afford the best protection against the disease.

Furthermore, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Benin have recently announced their plans to introduce the RTS,S vaccine, a significant step towards eradicating malaria. This vaccine, along with the R21 vaccine, was developed through a collaboration between British scientists and Indian manufacturers. Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Cameroon have already administered these vaccines to millions of children.

A total of 22 countries are scheduled to implement the vaccine rollout, with the aim of immunizing over 6 million children by the end of 2025. The UK’s funding, particularly through organizations like Gavi and the Global Fund, plays a crucial role in reducing the costs of innovative health products for HIV, TB, and malaria. This support enables these organizations to benefit from lower prices and extend their reach.

Michael Anderson, the Chief Executive Officer for MedAccess, expressed his gratitude for the continued support from the FCDO. He emphasized that this support allows MedAccess to enhance access to essential products for HIV, TB, and malaria, aligning with the goals of the Global Fund.

On World Malaria Day, MedAccess is pleased to announce the renewed funding, highlighting the importance of collaboration among global stakeholders to accelerate malaria prevention and control. Through the utilization of innovative financial tools, MedAccess aims to reduce the cost of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, ultimately improving value for money and patient access.

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