The World malaria report, published annually, provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends. The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance. It also includes dedicated chapters on malaria elimination and on key threats in the fight against malaria. The report is based on information received from national malaria control programmes and other partners in endemic countries. Key stakeholders have added their voices on this day.
Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, said: “This year, the fight against malaria got harder, but so did our resolve. Countries’ heroic efforts helped prevent a doubling of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year and make continued strides towards elimination in Asia and the Americas. Long-term investments in the malaria fight are paying off during the pandemic. However, we need up-to-date data and to apply lessons from the COVID-19 response, innovating and adapting our approaches in real time to have maximum impact against malaria.”
He also added : “Malaria’s impact in 2020 would have been much worse if not for the incredible efforts by countries and their partners, but the reality is that every malaria death today is avoidable. We have seen how the malaria toll, especially among young children, increases during health crises. We must continue to tackle malaria and COVID together to save more lives and protect heath systems“
Professor Yongyuth Yuthavong, RBM Partnership Board Member, malaria scientist and former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, commented: “The Greater Mekong Subregion has made tremendous progress towards elimination, even in the face of growing insecticide and drug resistance, reducing malaria cases and deaths by over 90% since 2000. This achievement is in no small part thanks to the development and scale up of life-saving tools many of which were not available 20 years ago, and cross-border collaboration that improved and increased surveillance. Today, we must continue investing in innovations that will help us stay ahead of a changing vector and parasite.”
Dr Elizabeth Chizema, RBM Partnership Board Member and former Director of Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination Programme, said: “The global malaria community must make the most of the opportunity to use real-time data to inform real-time decision making. This approach, catalyzed and facilitated by the RBM Partnership, will help prioritize limited resources and further support countries’ resilience in the face of the unexpected barriers that can arise when fighting malaria.”
Professor Maha Taysir Barakat, RBM Partnership Board Chair, concluded: “We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic distract us from redoubling our efforts to protect hard-fought gains against malaria and accelerating efforts to end this disease within a generation. Ending malaria will also enable countries to manage other diseases, as well as current and emerging health threats. With ongoing commitment, optimized use of current resources and new investments, we can deliver on the promise of a malaria-free world.”
SOURCE: RBM Partnership media statement.