Experts weigh in on role of private sector, philanthropists in anti-malaria campaign

Getting more partners onboard — from the private sector and beyond — could give the global campaign against malaria a significant boost, a number of experts have stressed.

Public-private partnerships and the role of the philanthropy sector were among topics tackled in a recent round-table discussion hosted by the Guardian. PPPs, one of the panelists argued, could help absorb some risks and costs to enable wider access to malaria-control products. Still on the issue of access, the same participant called for new and inventive ways to deliver treatment and medicines to hard-to-reach people.

Another contributor, meanwhile, stressed the need to shorten delivery time of these new approaches and medicines. The suggestions:  give incentives to drug manufacturers to explore, create and reach new markets and tap “increasingly smart [nongovernmental organizations].”

One participant, however, cautioned against PPPs, noting that “evidence about how to work with private-sector providers is pitiful.”

Several delegates did note the powerful role of the philanthropy sector. The sector, according to one participant, should “bet big in areas where we know we’re going to fail in some cases but, because we have a higher risk tolerance, we’ll hopefully have a big impact.”

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.