SDG target: End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases.
Malaria is unforgiving: As long as it exists, it will kill the most vulnerable and take advantage of emergencies. That’s why the Gates Foundation’s malaria strategy is geared toward eradicating the disease. If we don’t, every crisis will require devoting a lot of resources to avoid a big increase in preventable deaths.
Even under ordinary circumstances, both the malaria parasite and the mosquitoes that transmit it develop resistance to the drugs and insecticides we use to fight them, so we are constantly working to stay ahead of the curve. We invest in modeling and surveillance technologies designed to help countries tailor strategies for deploying malaria tools so that they drive down ongoing, high-level transmission as much as possible. Modeling, in fact, helped many countries decide to continue bed net campaigns despite COVID-19, ensuring that, so far, the backsliding in 2020 has been less severe than it might have been. These same tools are also critical for epidemic preparedness and response—and it is essential that the global community keep investing in them.