Report says Zambia, Kenya, others could reap from $127 billion GDP boost if Malaria is eradicated


A report commissioned by Malaria No More United Kingdom (UK) has revealed that Zambia could experience a US$2.2 billion boost to its economy if United Nations (UN) malaria targets are met.

The report, titled ‘The Malaria Dividend,’ states that African economies could collectively receive a GDP boost of nearly $127 billion, equivalent to an average of nearly $16 billion a year.

While Zambia was expected to gain US$2.2 billion, Kenya was projected to receive a boost of over US$9 billion and Angola US$8.5 billion.

The report further indicated that reducing malaria prevalence would lead to an increase in exports from around the world to malaria-endemic countries in Africa.

Malaria No More UK had called for malaria-endemic and donor countries to increase their investments in the fight to end malaria.

Such investments could save millions of lives, unlock prosperity, and bolster health security.

Read more: zambia-reports-37-rise-in-malaria-cases-as-country-posts-average-daily-infections-of-30400-in-2023

“The GDP of countries in Africa could rise by an additional US$126.9 billion if the UN target to cut malaria by 90 percent from 2015 levels by 2030 is met,” the report stated.

This represented an average boost of nearly US$16 billion a year to African economies.

Currently, malaria claims the lives of over 600,000 people a year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that malaria interventions have contributed to the prevention of 2.1 billion cases and 11.7 million deaths between 2000 and 2022.

As of global malaria deaths, the disease also impacts the working-age population, constraining economic growth through employee absenteeism, diminished income, reduced income tax revenue, and additional healthcare costs.

“Children suffering from malaria can experience frequent absences from school, hindering their educational progress and eventual economic contribution, while also creating a significant burden on healthcare services and the parents caring for them,” the report noted.

The report also suggested that the economic dividend from reducing malaria could be used to strengthen the health sector.

Investments could enhance diagnostic capacity, increase the healthcare workforce, and improve primary healthcare infrastructure.

In doing so, countries would be better prepared to prevent and combat future threats, such as new diseases with pandemic potential, making all countries, including G7 nations, safer and better prepared.

The report’s analysis was released ahead of the G7 Summit hosted in Italy on June 13-15, 2024.

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