Written by Kerre A. Willsher, PhD
The World Health Organization published their updated Resolution on the elimination of Malaria on May 25th, 2021. The Resolution or reminder aims to rekindle the will to accelerate and succeed in equitably eliminating Malaria. The Resolution demonstrates that everyone’s contribution is required in this quest. We must collaborate, never give up, and the right time is always now!!! Rotarians Against Malaria has a major role. We can eliminate Malaria.
The Resolution which was proposed by Botswana, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Eswatini (near South Africa and Mozambique), Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Philippines, Peru, Sudan, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Zambia and Member States of the European Union, has now been finalised. Some of the proposing countries are sub-Saharan states which suffer from severe poverty and where the progress against Malaria has been slow. The Resolution focuses upon the World Health Organization’s commitment in recent years to consolidate and speed up gains in malaria control and eradication in developing countries, especially in Africa, by 2030.
The majority of the data was collected in 2019 before the advent of Covid 19, however, there was a plateau in the progress of eliminating Malaria in the previous few years. The World Health Organization welcomes the report that 10 countries have achieved national elimination of Malaria, and reintroduction has been prevented in many eliminating countries. Nevertheless, it is of concern that two of the four Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 milestones for 2020 have not been met. They are the reduction of Malaria mortality and the reduction of Malaria case incidence worldwide by 40% compared to 2015 baselines (World Health Organization, 2015, 2021).
Equitable elimination of Malaria as well as Covid 19 and other diseases, requires resilient health care systems and the achievement of universal health coverage. The Global situation regarding Covid 19 has made the achievement of these goals difficult. Nevertheless, Covid 19 and Malaria surveillance could work together collaboratively to address social determinants of health such as access to health care. Good news is that Oxford University has recently developed viable vaccines for both Covid 19 and Malaria.
The World Health Organization provides technical advice, reiterates and encourages research and the coordination of services in the implementation of a program that aims for the world-wide elimination or eradication of Malaria. The World Health Organization therefore recommits to this goal by
- Incorporating Malaria eradication into the post 2030 global technical strategy for malaria. We keep going.
- Adopting the updated global technical strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 which puts emphasis on country ownership and promotes equitable and resilient health care systems.
- Generating, analysing and using quality data including that from surveillance for decision making and tailoring responses that result in equitable, cost-effective, good quality, effective health care that addresses social determinants of health.
- Urging United Nations member countries to accelerate the pace of implementation, according to national contexts, priorities, their malaria strategies and operational plans consistent with the updated framework and principles of the global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 and the WHO Guidelines for malaria.
- Urging the extension of investment in and support to health services, including integrated, accessible, affordable and quality prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment including through the use of technology-based solutions at facility and community levels ensuring no one is left behind including to improve access for the most rural remote, and marginalized populations that have the lowest access and coverage of interventions.
- To sustain and scale up as appropriate, sufficient funding of the global response against malaria.
- Extending investment in the development of new tools and support for implementation research and innovation to enable the efficient delivery and equitable access with a view to maximize impact and cost-effectiveness.
- URGING international, regional and national partners from within and beyond the health sector, in particular those in the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to End Malaria to strengthen their support for and further engage in implementation of the global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 and align this with existing health strategies and plans. This applies to Rotarians Against Malaria as well.
- A status report is to be provided to the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly in 2024, and a full progress report to the Seventy-ninth World Health Assembly in 2026, followed by a final report to the Eighty-first World Health Assembly in 2028
(World Health Organization, 2021).
More info on the WHO Guidelines for Malaria, as of February 2021, are available here.
World Health Organization. (2015). GLOBAL TECHNICAL STRATEGY FOR MALARIA 2016–2030. www.who.int
World Health Organization. (2021). World malaria report 2020: 20 years of global progress & challenges (Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO). https://www.who.int/teams/global-malaria-programme/reports/world-malaria-report-2020/