Research

USAID awards Carolina $36 million to support malaria control and elimination

The award will be used over five years to strengthen malaria information systems and build the capacity in countries supported by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative for malaria surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.

Flower with the Old Well in the background.
View of the Old Well on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on July 10, 2018. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

A malaria-focused program just awarded — “Strengthening Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation for Malaria Control and Elimination” — will provide $36 million in new funding for MEASURE Evaluation, housed at the Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The award comes from the United States Agency for International Development, which funds MEASURE Evaluation—a global health project.

The funds and program work supplement MEASURE Evaluation’s main USAID award. This new award will be used over five years (from June 2019 to June 2024) to strengthen malaria information systems and build the capacity in countries supported by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative for malaria surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.

Malaria is a major cause of death worldwide, with an estimated 219 million cases and 435,000 deaths in 2017, primarily in Africa. Increasing the capacity of national malaria programs, ministries of health and communities to collect, analyze and use malaria data to improve detection, quality of care and best placement of resources is an important strategy for eliminating malaria. MEASURE Evaluation’s approach for malaria surveillance, monitoring and evaluation is to provide more accurate and timely data to inform prevention and elimination efforts; support country-level use of strategic information and thereby achieve impact; develop global guidance for malaria surveillance, monitoring and evaluation; and support a coordinated response by malaria-endemic countries.

The program will:

  • Strengthen country-level capacities to collect, analyze and use routine health data
  • Strengthen country-level capacities to manage the health information systems that house and share malaria data
  • Enhance tools, methods and approaches to address health information challenges

The technical director of this MEASURE Evaluation associate award is Yazoumé Yé, vice-president for malaria surveillance and research at ICF, one of MEASURE Evaluation’s partner organizations. Carolina research associate Brittany Iskarpatyoti will serve as operations director. The project’s principal investigator is Jim Thomas, associate professor of epidemiology at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and MEASURE Evaluation’s director.

“We are excited to implement this program,” said Yé. “As new challenges and opportunities in malaria control arise, the response must employ fresh approaches and strengthen sustainability and self-reliance within the countries most affected, which means strengthening systems to ensure that high-quality malaria-related data are available and used to improve health programs and policies.”

USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.