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Nigeria: Economy May Receive $34 Billion Boost If Malaria Is Slashed By 90%

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A new study commissioned by Malaria No More UK and conducted by Oxford Economics Africa reveals the potential for monumental economic benefits if malaria is drastically reduced in several African nations.

According to the report, Fighting Malaria Offers Global Economic Boost, achieving the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2030 malaria reduction goals could result in an astounding $34 billion increase in Nigeria’s GDP. The result was released on Tuesday in the United Kingdom.

This significant boost is part of a broader potential economic uplift of $142.7 billion across malaria-endemic countries.

Malaria remains a formidable health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, with nearly 620,000 deaths annually.

The impact of the disease extends beyond health, imposing a considerable financial burden on families and communities and hindering economic progress.

Photograph: Zeromalaria.org.uk

Nigeria, being the most populous country in Africa, suffers the most, but it also stands to gain the most from effective malaria control measures.

The report highlights that a 90% reduction in malaria cases by 2030 could significantly boost the economies of several African countries.

Specifically, Nigeria could see a $4.8 billion increase in exports over the same period, underscoring the broader economic implications of reducing malaria.

Alongside Nigeria’s potential $34 billion GDP increase, other countries like Côte d’Ivoire $7.5 billion, Kenya $9.4 billion, Angola $8.5 billion, and Tanzania $7.4 billion

Additionally, the study indicates that reducing malaria cases by 10% could result in an increase of 0.11 percentage points in the annual per capita GDP growth rate.

This economic growth would not only enhance trade but also provide a substantial boost to the economies of the affected countries.

Despite the significant progress made in the fight against malaria, the disease still causes over 600,000 deaths annually, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.

The disease also disrupts education and workforce productivity, keeping children out of school and adults out of work.

The continued presence of malaria results in lost income, absenteeism, and increased healthcare costs, all of which hamper economic progress.

Recent advancements, such as the development and approval of new malaria vaccines, offer a glimmer of hope.

Countries like Ghana, Cameroon, and Malawi have already integrated these vaccines into their childhood immunization programs, and at least 10 more countries are expected to follow suit this year.

These vaccines could play a pivotal role in reducing the incidence of malaria and thereby boosting economic productivity.

The study also underscores the global economic implications of reducing malaria. Achieving the WHO’s malaria reduction goals could generate an additional $31 billion in exports for the most affected countries in Africa.

Moreover, the economic boosts are not limited to African nations. G7 countries could also benefit, with an almost $4 billion rise expected for the United States and more than $450 million for the United Kingdom.

Dr. Astrid Bonfield, CEO of Malaria No More UK, emphasized the importance of increased investment in malaria eradication. “Investing more in the fight to end malaria can save millions of lives, grow the African economy, and boost trade. This can unlock new funds to bolster health spending and strengthen health security in Africa and globally,” Bonfield said.

Dr. Bonfield further highlighted the necessity for sustained global investment in malaria research and development. “The rise in global trade with Africa allows other nations to keep the disease at bay by sustaining malaria research and development funding.

The report from Oxford Economics Africa states that Africa would account for 88% of the cumulative $142.7 billion economic benefit expected by 2030.

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