Two reports on malaria eradication underline need for new tools and interventions
Two high-level reports have been released ahead of the WHO-hosted forum on “Rising to the Challenge of Malaria Eradication” held in Geneva on 9 September 2019. The WHO report Malaria Eradication: benefits, future scenarios and feasibility was authored by members of the Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication (SAGMe). The Lancet Commission Report (LCME): Malaria Eradication within a Generation: ambitious, achievable, and necessary was authored by Prof. Sir Richard Feachem and 26 global experts.
According to the WHO, today less than 1% of funding for health R&D investment goes to developing tools to tackle malaria. Both reports suggest that eradication will not be achieved with today’s tools and make a strong case for ramping up innovation to bring forward new diagnostics, drugs and vector control interventions. In addition, the reports highlight the opportunities for leveraging advances in information technology and data analysis to better inform national and sub-national strategies, better use interventions and drive efficiencies. The LCME also highlights the important point that the “prevention of re-establishment is at least as important as elimination”.
The importance of the role of malaria-endemic countries cannot be over-emphasized. The commitment of their political leadership, increased domestic investment into malaria control and elimination, and emerging strength of their next-generation scientists, clinicians and programme specialists reinforce the belief that indeed the vision of a malaria-free world will be realized.