Last week, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre was the centre of a milestone in the fight against malaria. For the first time ever, the 1st World Malaria Congress took place; a landmark event with an important vision.
We’ve been reporting on the World Malaria Congress daily on our news podcast, Malaria Minute. Catch up here.
When looking at the charities and organisations fighting malaria, they all have unique goals or visions; be it groundwork, medicine or research. Fight Malaria, for example, focuses on education; or more specifically, education through digital mediums.
The World Malaria Congress brings together all the knowledge, skill and expertise from a variety of organisations and key figures, giving them a chance to share ideas and visions for a malaria-free world. This gives a unique platform; a base on which individuals can cultivate ideas, gain knowledge and inform themselves about the ongoing fight against malaria.
The event indulged several speeches, including some from key players in the medicinal, social and political counter malaria fields, giving the world a platform for the future; a place to gather thoughts and actively build upon then.
“Diseases like malaria know no borders and that is why health security is a global challenge because we have to operate transnationally…. we do know that when health systems come together globally we can transform the outcome”
Julie Bishop, Australian foreign minister (opening speech at the congres)
Before the Congress, there was no mechanism by which all stakeholders can collaborate, gather and share research and visions. This has been reversed and, thanks to the Congress, individuals can now build a framework for a universal, collaborative effort to fight malaria; be Governments, Charities or Researchers.
The inaugural Malaria World Congress has four simple objectives:
- Facilitation of collaboration between practitioners of scientific innovation, health systems delivery, community, government and non-governmental organisations
- Position malaria elimination within the Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals
- Strengthen political commitment and action towards malaria elimination
- Address gaps in knowledge and communication within and across sectors to meet elimination targets
In order to fulfil these objectives, the Congress was structured around a list of key themes; thus giving attendees a set of ‘building blocks’ on which to base their discussion, collaboration, future work and progress:
- Malaria Today – The recent history and present of malaria control and elimination efforts.
- Putting Malaria Elimination into a Global Health Context – How malaria sits within the broader global health context, with focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Care and health security.
- Meeting the Challenges of Malaria Eradication – How we move forward together to enable sustainable impact in malaria-endemic countries.
Following the crucial malaria Commonwealth talks in London earlier this year, the Congress is an important step towards materialising the political and social discussions back in April. It is safe to say that the first Malaria World Congress has provided a hopeful and promising future for our world and the ongoing fight against malaria.
You can find out more about the congress including their mission, the key points raised, and find out speech topics on their official website at malariaworldcongress.org
Didn’t get to the Congress? Don’t worry! There are still many ways you can get your voice and ideas heard. On our network alone, you can make a difference! By writing insightful blogs, sharing our resources and spreading the word, you will make an impact!
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