3.2 billion people are at risk of being infected with Malaria, and each year, more than 400,000 people die of it (Wangdi & Clements, 2018; World Health Organization, 2017, 2021b). The E 2025 initiative developed as the result of the identification by the World Health Organization of another 25 countries that have the capacity to eliminate Malaria by 2025. E2025 builds upon E 2020 which supported 21 countries in their effort to eliminate Malaria by 2020. Seven of those 21 countries, including China and Malaysia recently eliminated Malaria. The rest are on track for elimination by 2025 and will continue to be included in the program. The E 2025 initiative includes four African countries -Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Eswatini and South Africa. Other countries that have been added to the World Health Organization list, include Vanuatu, Panama, and Sao Tome and Principe in the Gulf of Guinea. Malaria elimination needs to be a long-term policy using practical, sustainable programs (World Health Organization, 2021b).
According to Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the World Health Organization Global Malaria Program, each endemic country’s passage to elimination is unparalleled but there is a commonality in that there is the political will within each to wipe-out the disease. This resolve results in domestic funding that is frequently unremitting over several decades, even after the country becomes malaria- free. Most countries that achieve their goal to end malaria have strong primary health care systems that provide good access to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria to all at little or no cost. They tend to have excellent data maintenance systems and community collaboration (World Health Organization, 2021a).
Specialised support and technology will be provided to the countries taking part in E2025 with the aim of zero malaria cases in each by 2025. There are challenges but these can be addressed to a large extent by research into and use of country specific solutions, better use of data, improved availability of human resources and technology, stronger surveillance and systematic cross-border collaborations between countries (Wangdi, Gatton, Kelly, & Clements, 2015).
Wangdi, K., & Clements, A. C. A. (2018). Ending Malaria Transmission in the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) Countries: Challenges and the Way Forward. In S. Manguin, & Dev, V. (Ed.), Towards Malaria Elimination:
A Leap Forward. doi:10.5772/intechopen.75405
Wangdi, K., Gatton, M. L., Kelly, G. C., & Clements, A. C. A. (2015). Cross-Border Malaria: A Major Obstacle for Malaria Elimination. In D. Rollinson, & Stothard, J. R. (Ed.), Advances in parasitology (Vol. 89, pp. 79-107).
World Health Organization. (2017). World malaria report Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/259492/9789241565523- eng.pdf;sequence=1
World Health Organization. (2021a). World Malaria Day: WHO launches effort to stamp out malaria in 25 more countries by 2025. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news/item/21-04-2021- world-malaria-day-who-launches-effort-to-stamp-out-malaria-in-25-more-countries-by-2025
World Health Organization. (2021b). ZEROING IN ON MALARIA ELIMINATION: Final report of the E- 2020 initiative. 1-20.