The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a significant grant of $16 million to support the expansion of the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) in Africa. The MAP is a renowned initiative based in Perth, Western Australia, which utilizes geospatial modeling and analytics to map and monitor malaria globally. With this new funding, the MAP will establish a new research node in the East African region, specifically at the Ifakara Health Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Led by Susan Rumisha, PhD, the East Africa MAP Node will collaborate closely with the existing MAP Node in Perth, led by Peter Gething, PhD. Both nodes will work together as a single research team, despite their geographical separation, to advance their groundbreaking research aimed at eliminating malaria.
The establishment of the East Africa Node is an important milestone for the MAP. By bringing the team closer to the heart of the malaria epidemic, it will significantly boost research efforts in the region and strengthen research capacity in Africa where malaria is endemic.
According to Gething, the funds will help the MAP generate crucial geospatial malaria modeling and analytics on malaria transmission, infection, and intervention coverage. This comprehensive data will provide a better understanding of the current landscape of malaria and guide decision-making in the fight against the disease.
The expansion of the MAP in Africa will also focus on researching the drivers of malaria trends in the region, including the recent slowdown in progress and the growing threats of drug and insecticide resistance, as well as climate change. Additionally, the project will analyze strategies to improve the efficiency and impact of existing and future malaria control tools.
With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Malaria Atlas Project’s expansion in Africa represents a significant step forward in the global effort to eradicate malaria and improve the health outcomes of millions of people.
What is the Malaria Atlas Project?
The Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) is an initiative that uses geospatial modeling and analytics to map and monitor malaria globally. It aims to track the impact of malaria control policies and programs.
What is the significance of the new MAP Node in East Africa?
The establishment of the East Africa MAP Node will bring the research team closer to the malaria epidemic in Africa. This will enhance research efforts, strengthen research capacity, and facilitate better decision-making in the fight against malaria.
What will the funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation be used for?
The funding will be utilized to generate crucial geospatial malaria modeling and analytics, understand the drivers of malaria trends, assess future threats, and analyze strategies to improve the efficiency and impact of malaria control tools.
Why is Africa a focus for the expansion of the MAP?
Sub-Saharan Africa carries the heaviest burden of malaria globally, with 95% of cases and deaths occurring in this region. By expanding the MAP in Africa, the project aims to tackle the malaria epidemic at its core and make a significant impact on malaria control efforts.