Oxfam reaction to the Global Fund's announcement on affordable medicines facility for malaria

Posted by Sarah Dransfield Senior Press Officer

15th Nov 2012

In response to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's proposed changes to the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm), announced at its annual board meeting in Geneva today, Oxfam's senior health policy advisor, Dr Mohga Kamal-Yanni said: 

"The Global Fund has made the right decision by allowing countries to decide how best to tackle malaria, but now must prove they will support those solutions that are proven to treat malaria and other causes of fever, like investing in community health workers. There are no short cuts or cheap options to effectively tackle malaria and there is no substitute for appropriately trained treatment providers. 

"Allowing the sale of anti malarial medicines by unqualified shopkeepers poses a huge health risk, especially for children. A recent study in Tanzania shows that as few as 10 per cent of fevers are actually malarial and selling malaria drugs through shops does nothing to help those with other illnesses who need proper diagnosis and relevant treatment. 

"Current donors such as the UK and Canada indicated interest in pledging more money to the AMFm, which would miss the opportunity to invest that money in proven solutions like community health workers who have slashed the number of malarial deaths in countries such as Zambia and Ethiopia. We hope that they will consider this evidence for any future investments in fighting malaria. 

"We will closely follow how The Global Fund supports countries to put the best evidence into practice, providing proper diagnosis and treatment for people who need them." 

Ends 

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr Kamal-Yanni, please contact: Sarah Dransfield, Oxfam Press Officer, on + 44 (0)7767 085636 or email sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk 

Notes to editors: 

The Global Fund Board today decided to integrate the Affordable Medicines Facility - malaria (AMFm) into core Global Fund grant management and financial processes. Last month Oxfam published a critical report on the AMFm: http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/salt-sugar-and-malaria-pills 

A recent study in Uganda by Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Sweden, showed evidence that community health workers are able to diagnose and treat malaria and pneumonia: Performance of community health workers under integrated community case management of childhood illnesses in eastern Uganda. 

As few as 10% of fevers are malarial according to Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute research in Tanzania

Blog post written by Sarah Dransfield

Senior Press Officer

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