More than 100 global and regional leaders from the health, development and corporate sectors gathered in Yangon, Myanmar to participate in the seminal regional forum on Opportunities for Corporate Sector Engagement in Malaria Control in the Asia-Pacific, a press release announced 29 September.
The one-day forum aimed to identify public-private partnerships to support regional malaria control strategies and drive progress toward country-specific development targets.
The meeting was jointly coordinated by the World Health Organization Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and non-profit organization GBCHealth - in partnership with the Myanmar Health and Development Consortium, Malaria No More, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and with the financial support of Sanofi.
Myanmar will host the ASEAN and East Asia Summits on 11-12 November and reaffirms the country’s role as an emerging leader in the region’s response to malaria.
A summary report of the one-day forum can be found here.
Additional materials from the meeting can also be found here.
Please also find select photos from the meeting here.
Read the joint RBM APLMA GBCHealth full press release here.
The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) have co-signed a Letter of Understanding on 17 October in Sri Lanka, formalising a strategic partnership to drive malaria elimination in the Asia Pacific through a series of strategic advocacy, knowledge generation and policy reform initiatives.
APMEN established in 2009 brings together 16 Country Partners who have each declared national and or subnational malaria elimination goals, as well as policy makers, research and training institutes, and funding bodies among other stakeholders, to share knowledge on the latest developments in malaria elimination efforts from the region.
Initiated in October 2013 at the 8th East Asia Summit in Brunei by the Australian Government, the Asia Pacific Leader’s Malaria Alliance (APLMA) focus is to foster political commitment for regional malaria elimination and the building blocks to achieve it at the highest levels of government. Two important taskforces are mandated to address Regional Financing and Improving Access to Quality Medicines and Other Technologies and these will contribute to evidenced based policy processes (View/Download the APLMA Taskforce Progress Report 2014 here, 595KB).
Attending the 9th annual meeting of the Malaria Elimination Group (MEG) in Negombo, Sri Lanka, co-hosted by the Malaria Elimination Initiative and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Executive Secretary ad interim Dr Ben Rolfe said the APMEN-APLMA partnership provided an important opportunity to support linkages and collaboration between the National Malaria Control Programmes of countries in the Asia Pacific who have made remarkable progress since 2000.
“Our goal of a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030 is ambitious, but certainly achievable,” Dr Rolfe said.
"At the upcoming 9th East Asia Summit being held in Myanmar on 11-12 November, APLMA will support regional collaboration and political commitment at the highest level towards this 2030 goal."
APMEN Co-Coordinator Professor Maxine Whittaker represented APMEN at the signing and said “APMEN countries support the vision of a malaria-free region, but as cases of malaria continue to decline, national malaria programs face decreases in funding. It is at this critical point that funding needs to be maintained to sustain the gains from malaria control, and finally eliminate the disease”.
New research published in prestigious medical journal, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, has highlighted the critical need for improved methods for monitoring drug resistance to inform antimalarial policy.
An international team of scientists and clinical researchers systematically reviewed 129 clinical trials, involving 21,694 patients, to determine the global extent of reduced Plasmodium vivax malaria susceptibility to the frontline antimalarial treatment, chloroquine.
Lead author of the paper and Menzies senior research fellow, Professor Ric Price said the review highlighted that chloroquine resistance, although well recognized in falciparum malaria, has been significantly underappreciated in vivax malaria. Plasmodium vivax is the becoming the predominant species of malaria outside of Africa – and there is now evidence of reduced susceptibility in most of these endemic areas.
“One of the greatest threats to malaria control and elimination efforts is the emergence and spread of antimalarial drug resistance,” Prof Price said.
“Menzies has taken a lead role, working with key partners in the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) and the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) to improve treatments that will ultimately eliminate malaria from the region.
“The power of such research collaborations will help support the optimisation of current antimalarial treatments; reduce the spread of antimalarial drug resistance, and save lives.”
Vivax malaria causes over 200 million clinical infections a year, and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the Asia-Pacific region especially in young children. Chloroquine remains the first-line treatment for vivax malaria in most endemic countries in the general belief that it remains effective.
View the paper here: Global extent of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium vivax: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Health Ministers from WHO’s South-East Asia Region adopted the Dhaka Declaration on vector-borne diseases at the Thirty-second meeting of the Ministers of Health and the Sixty-seventh Session of the Regional Committee held 9 -12 September 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Ministers from the Region’s 11 Member States, which include seven APMEN Country Partners; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand as well as India, Maldives, Myanmar and Timor-Leste, met to review health systems development with a focus on eliminating vector-borne diseases from the region.
By adopting the Dhaka Declaration, all the health ministers committed to pursuing an inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach in control and elimination of vector-borne diseases.
Read the full WHO-SEAR Press Release online here.
Image source: WHO-SEAR / M NI Chowdhary
The United Nations General Assembly at its 68th Session, adopted Resolution A/68/L.60, "Consolidating Gains and Accelerating Efforts to Control and Eliminate Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa, by 2015” by consensus.
An official statement issued in Accra and copied the Ghana News Agency said with just less than 500 days until the 2015 deadline of the MDGs, the adoption of this resolution by the General Assembly reiterates the commitment of UN Member States to keep malaria high on the international development agenda.
Recognising progress made through political leadership and a broad range of national and international actions to scale-up malaria control interventions, this annual resolution urges governments, United Nations agencies, and all stakeholders to work together to meet the targets set out in the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
View/download the Malaria Resolution A/68/L.60 here.