APMEN Newsroom


UCSF Global Health Group receives $15m for malaria elimination

The Global Health Group of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), co-secretariat of the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network, has received a $15 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a pioneering effort to help nearly three dozen countries eliminate malaria within their borders.

Director of the UCSF Global Health Group Sir Richard Feachem, KBE, FREng, DSc(Med), PhD, welcomed the news by highlighting the Gates Foundation as being “at the forefront of worldwide efforts to accelerate malaria elimination”.

“Ninety-three countries have eliminated malaria since 1900, and we have recently seen unprecedented momentum in the 100 countries with remaining transmission,” Feachem said.

“We and our partners across the globe will do everything possible to continue this remarkable progress towards global eradication. Our priority is to ensure that the 34 eliminating countries have the resources, policies, and tools to free themselves from malaria.”

Lead investigator of the UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative Dr Roly Gosling,  MD, PhD, says one of the major threats to malaria elimination is that people can be infected with parasites and pass on the disease, but not be sick enough to seek treatment.

“With this new grant, we will launch a series of innovative studies with eliminating countries in Africa and Asia Pacific that will find ways of detecting and treating people with asymptomatic malaria” Dr Gosling said.

The UCSF Global Health Group serves as Joint-Secretariat of APMEN, and will continue to work with the fourteen countries in the Asia Pacific region that are part of APMEN, which aims to collaboratively address the unique challenges of malaria elimination in the region through leadership, advocacy, capacity building, knowledge exchange, and building the evidence base, particularly for Plasmodium vivax malaria.

Read the full press release here.


World Malaria Report 2013 launched: 45% decrease in global malaria

The World Health Organization (WHO), in association with The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), has released the 2013 WHO World Malaria Report on 11 December.

Among the key findings, global malaria mortality rates have been reduced by 45%, and malaria control and elimination efforts worldwide have saved an estimated 3.3 million lives since 2000.

WHO is currently developing a global technical strategy for malaria control and elimination for the 2016-2025 period, as well as a global plan to control and eliminate Plasmodium vivax malaria, prevalent primarily in Asia.

Launching the report at the United Nations in New York, Dr. Robert Newman, Director, Global Malaria Programme, WHO, said the remarkable gains against malaria are still fragile.

“In the next 10-15 years, the world will need innovative tools and technologies, as well as new strategic approaches to sustain and accelerate progress” he said.

The report comes a week after the Global Fund announced a US$12 billion donor replenishment; the largest amount ever committed to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Published every year in December , the annual World Malaria Report is contributed to by national malaria control programmes in endemic countries, and from a range of malaria control partners and contains the latest data and trend analysis on the global effort to fight malaria. The report provides the global health community with a comprehensive overview of progress in the fight against malaria.

Download the full report here.



Funding boost for VxWG Country Partner Technical Development project

APMEN wishes to congratulate Ms Lenny Ekawati, from the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU) who, with the support of her supervisors Dr. Kevin Baird and Dr. Philip Kreager, has been successful in securing additional funding from the Wellcome Trust to expand her project.

Ms Ekawati was awarded Round 2 funding as part of the APMEN Vivax Working Group's Country Partner Technical Development Program for her project entitled, "Community survey on knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of malaria interventions (diagnosis and treatment) for vivax malaria in Indonesia".

As part of her project, Ms Ekawati will conduct more than 550 household surveys and assess the diagnostic capabilities in 10 Primary Health Centres in three malaria-endemic regions of Indonesia on the knowledge, attitudes and practices related to treatment-seeking behaviour and medication of malaria. 

She aims to demonstrate that malaria is generally perceived as an important health problem.  

“Through the APMEN funded project, I have been learning how to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the survey, as well as to identify the opportunities and the real threats to malaria elimination program in Indonesia, “Ms Ekawati said.

“The survey has shown me an alley to expand the work in different type of population with more robust methodologies and more objective data collection.”

The Country Partner Technical Development Program has been supported by the Vivax Working Group for the past four years. The program focuses on gathering evidence and building local expertise in the treatment, diagnosis and surveillance of P.vivax malaria.


Local interviewers recorded coordinates of primary health centre with GPS device

Laboratory and diagnostic assessment with malaria microscopist in primary health centre



APMEN ACD survey paper published in Malaria Journal

Results from a survey on active case detection (ACD) strategies in malaria elimination settings of the 14 APMEN Country Partners have recently been published in the Malaria Journal

Data collected from the survey questionnaire, developed by Global Health Group of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in collaboration with Lasse Vestergaard (WHO PHL/WPRO), Gawrie Galappaththy (WHO Myanmar), and Christina Rundi (Malaysia), shows that while most countries conduct case investigation and reactive case detection, these practices vary widely. Moreover, there is little evidence to support strategy development on which methods to use and what parameters are most effective to find and reduce malaria transmission. 

The paper, which was co-authored by 13 of the 14 Country Partners of APMEN, highlights the need for common metrics to assess performance and results, to develop more efficient and effective means to find and treat remaining malaria infections: “There is much to learn from countries that are well on the way towards malaria elimination. This APMEN survey is a small step in distilling and disseminating this information”.

Read the paper in full here.


APMEN-ACTMalaria announce regional partnership  

Dr Wichai Satimai, Chair of the APMEN Advisory Board, is pleased at the networks progress towards increased regionalization of its activities with the recent signing of the APMEN-Asian Collaborative Training Network for Malaria (ACTMalaria) Vector Control Working Group support agreement.

Dr Satimai said the partnership with ACTMalaria will “bring significant capability to the Vector Working Group  through its skills  and experience  in capacity building  and Vector control  in the region." 

The APMEN Secretariat commenced negotiations for this partnership with  ACTMalaria in late 2012 and APMEN Co-Coordinator Prof Maxine Whittaker was invited to present to the ACTMalaria Executive Board in March 2013. The final agreement was signed on  October 1 this year.

Over the coming months, the APMEN Secretariat will continue to work with our key ACTMalaria contact, Executive Coordinator Ms Ceclia Hugo, and oversee the transfer of day-to-day duties to Rogelio Mendoza (Bong) in his new role as administrative support officer for the APMEN Vector Control Working Group.

Ms Hugo says she is excited to work together in enhancing the technical capability and capacity of country partners on entomology and vector control, as needed, in  moving towards elimination.

ACTMalaria is an inter-country training and communication network which includes National Malaria Control Programmes of Bangladesh, Cambodia, PR China, Republic of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.