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What’s holding back the fight against malaria in Cameroon?

Malaria is the main cause of infant mortality and a public health problem in several West African countries. In Cameroon, for example, at least 2.6 million cases and 4,100 deaths were recorded in 2020. 

Despite significant efforts from government and donors, the epidemiological situation there has been worsening since 2016 and Cameroon is now among the top ten most malaria-affected countries in Africa. 

As a result, the Global Fund’s Technical Review Panel asked for Cameroon and several other West African countries to each carry out a retrospective assessment to better understand the factors contributing to slow progress in the fight against malaria in their country. 

The fund commissioned Genesis to retroactively assess the financial performance and value for money achieved by Cameroon’s national programme over the period 2015-2020. Genesis was also required to provide key findings and recommendations for future resource mobilisation, budget planning and strengthening of financial management for the national malaria programme.

This work entailed analysing the funding landscape for malaria interventions in Cameroon; assessing the quality of estimates of resource needs for strategic plans and unit cost data; and identifying budgeting and financing issues related to implementation of the strategic plan. Genesis also explored budget execution, allocative efficiency of malaria expenditure, and expenditure on procurement and distribution of commodities.

Through this work, Genesis uncovered several health financing issues hampering Cameroon’s malaria programme. It also made appropriate recommendations for improving budgeting and financing of efforts to tackle malaria there. These insights and recommendations provided Cameroonian policymakers with the evidence they required to address the problems identified.

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