Health For AllBill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants $16M to Malaria Atlas Project

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants $16M to Malaria Atlas Project

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The Malaria Atlas Project (MAP), home to the world’s largest malaria database and a leader in global efforts to combat the disease, has received a generous $16 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Malaria remains a significant cause of disease and child mortality globally, especially affecting vulnerable populations in developing countries.

Utilizing the latest geospatial modeling and analytics, MAP maps and monitors malaria on a global scale, evaluating the impact of control policies and programs. Originally based in Oxford, England, and since 2019 located at the Telethon Kids Institute and Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, MAP is now decentralizing to empower affected countries, address health funding inequalities, and nurture the next generation of African spatial modeling researchers.

Allocation of Grant

A portion of the grant will establish the East Africa Malaria Atlas Project Node within the Ifakara Health Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Led by Dr. Susan Rumisha, the East Africa Node will collaborate closely with the Perth Node, led by Professor Peter Gething.

Furthermore, This strategic move aims to enhance research capacity in Africa, where 95% of malaria cases occur. The MAP team, relocating to Africa, will work collaboratively across the two Nodes, leveraging their expertise to drive impactful research in malaria control.

Dr Rumisha said the East Africa Node would benefit the continent by driving research and innovation in geospatial analytics for malaria to generate robust evidence to guide malaria decisions.
“Working closely with national malaria programs in the region would allow the team to integrate local knowledge, expertise and context into their methodologies and analyses, enabling them to tailor their approach to suit countries’ priorities and demands,” Dr Rumisha said.

Moreover, The funding will support MAP in generating crucial geospatial malaria modeling and analytics, informing global efforts against malaria. Research will focus on understanding malaria trends, evaluating future threats like drug resistance and climate change, and analyzing strategies to improve the impact of malaria control tools.

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Professor Gething said the foundation continued to be a wonderful supporter of MAP and was instrumental to the impact the team had been able to achieve so far.
“Their vision of a malaria-free world is one we are passionately committed to, and we are incredibly excited to extend our mission over the next four years to bring the world closer to this goal,” he said.

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