This year has witnessed a renewed sense of energy and commitment towards malaria eradication. In this wind-down time, I’d like to take a step back to examine this progress in further detail, highlighting notable milestones.
World Malaria Report
In the latter part of this year, the World Health Organisation published their annual ‘World Malaria Report‘. This year’s edition issued a stark warning that progress against malaria has stalled and that the we need to get ‘back on track’.
The Malaria Summit
Earlier in the year, London was host to the Malaria Summit, a platform for world leaders to address the current state of malaria. The Summit was organised by Malaria No More UK and co-convened by RBM and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Famous faces supported the Summit, including billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates and HRH Prince Charles. The Summit highlighted the latest developments in technology; Bill Gates piloted a drone to showcase the new tools in the fight against malaria.
In April, the 53 leaders of Commonwealth nations agreed to halve the malaria burden within five years. Backed by financial, political and scientific commitments worth over $4.1bn, this commitment shows that the world is united in trying to eliminate malaria.
Two countries were granted official ‘Malaria-Free’ certification from the World Health Organisation this year: Paraguay and Uzbekistan.
This certification is awarded to countries when malaria transmission has been interrupted nationally for at least the previous three consecutive years. Uzbekistan attributed this success to their holistic approach, including border checks.
2018 was a big year for Fight Malaria as it marked the launch of two flagship podcasts.
Malaria Minute broadcasts the latest malaria news in sixty seconds. From research breakthroughs to community stories, the weekly podcast keeps you up to date.
Five Minutes brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. The interview podcast shares the stories of malaria stakeholders around the world, with guests ranging from Kenyan journalists to malaria feminists.
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2018 witnessed new campaigns come to the forefront of malaria communications. The ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me‘ campaign inspires both citizens and leaders of Africa to commit to fighting malaria, through preventative measures and political commitment.
The ‘Ready To Beat Malaria‘ campaign, a division of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, energised the public on World Malaria Day, raising awareness of the disease and its global impact.
The ‘#MalariaMustDie‘ campaign, coordinated by Malaria Must Die, received celebrity backing. Its aim was to hold Commonwealth leaders to account and to encourage them to step up their political commitments to end malaria. Fronted by the likes of James Cordon, Zoella and David Beckham, the campaign received global attention.
Bed Net Innovation
A two-year study in Burkina Faso showed that a combination of chemicals in mosquito nets resulted in a 12% reduction in clinical malaria cases.
The research was directed by Professor Steve Lindsay of Durham University and was hailed as a ‘scientific breakthrough’.
GSK’s Tafenoquine was approved by the FDA this year. The drug, sold under the brand name Krintafel, is used for treating P. Vivax malaria, which causes relapses of the disease.
GSK’s malaria vaccine, RTS,S, also began clinical trials in parts of Africa this year.
Two new campaigns have begun the countdown for malaria elimination.
The ‘ZeroX40‘ campaign focuses on increasing innovation in the global agricultural sector to develop new vector control tools. The ‘M2030‘ campaign envisions malaria elimination in Asia in the year 2030.