AFRICA – Malaria No More and the Health Finance Coalition (HFC) have launched a new health financing initiative for Africa dubbed the Outcomes Fund for Fevers (OFF) in partnership with the Global Fund, Global Citizen, NPX, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

The Health Finance Coalition announced on its site that OFF is a new performance-based financing initiative aimed at scaling fever testing, treatment, and digital reporting through the private sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

The initiative is an outcomes fund, designed to scale quality testing, treatment, and digital reporting in the private sector using product subsidies and performance payments, thereby enabling greater impact and a faster path to scale compared to traditional grants or government funding,” the group highlighted.

OFF’S structure will ensure investors provide upfront capital to implement the programs hence outcomes funders will provide grant capital that is only released when results are achieved and independently verified.

According to the global coalition, the new performance-based financing initiative aims to raise an initial US$25m to demonstrate this approach, with the opportunity to scale in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and beyond.

The OFF is hosted by the Global Fund and administered by Malaria No More and the Health Finance Coalition, with technical assistance provided by CHAI. The OFF is a part of Global Citizen’s Impact Funds, powered by NPX,” the Health Finance Coalition said.

HFC explained that the financing initiative will use performance-based payments and product subsidies to expand rapid malaria testing and access to quality treatments through innovative private sector delivery and care models.

The coalition further said that OFF will initially focus on increasing malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) treatments, noting that once established, OFF can be expanded to include additional fever diagnostic products and other quality-assured drugs.

In conjunction with the launch of the OFF, the Gates Foundation announced a US$9M direct commitment to Maisha Meds to partner with Ministries of Health and women’s savings groups across Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya,” HFC said.

Part of the Gates Foundation investment will be used to grow Maisha Meds’ technology-enabled network to 5,000 pharmacies and drug shops to support the delivery of healthcare reimbursements for malaria for 550,000 patients.

The Health Finance Coalition stressed that enormous health gains can be made quickly and cost-effectively to address malaria and other febrile illnesses, and prepare for future pandemics by scaling rapid diagnosis, quality-assured treatments, and data reporting in the private sector.

Critical to achieving this goal is aligning financial incentives for patients and providers with the public health objective of providing quality products and care, even in informal private sector settings,” HFC added.

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