The Regional Initiative for the Elimination of Malaria is launched in ten Mesoamerican countries and the Dominican Republic

The countries of the Mesoamerican region and the Dominican Republic have united to eliminate malaria in the coming years, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund of the World Health Organization (WHO). To this end, the Initiative for the Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica was approved, a project that wants to prove that this disease can be defeated. The goal is to achieve the elimination of malaria in the coming years.

The project’s partners are convinced that a real solution exists to prevent dozens of thousands of people from suffering from this disease in the region. The World Health Organization reported 40,277 confirmed cases of malaria in Central America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic during 2016. And today, throughout the region there are almost 18.7 million people at risk of contracting the disease.

In addition to the aforementioned partners, the Initiative includes the participation of other institutions involved in fighting against this disease in the region, such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA); the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the Mesoamerica Integration and Development Project.

To finance the project, the successful results-based financing model of the Mesoamerica Health Initiative (ISM) has been taken as a benchmark, in which the donation of funds promotes the mobilization of resources between countries, representing an important landmark for the sustainability of the Initiative. Furthermore, countries receive an economic incentive if they achieve the established goals.

The Initiative for the Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and the Dominican Republic has a fund of 53 million dollars, which will be added to almost 30 million dollars of donations from other organizations that fight malaria in the region. Additionally, the participating countries are expected to contribute around 50 million dollars.

At present, the members of the Initiative are working with the governments of the different involved countries on the preparation of the plans and setting of ambitious -but achievable- goals. Among the goals agreed with the participating countries, the governments have promised to reach and identify each new case of malaria in less than 48 hours after the first symptoms and to properly treat it in less than 24 hours so as to reduce human transmission, which is essential to achieve the goal of eliminating the disease.