APMEN Newsroom


APMEN & APLMA: partners in regional malaria elimination


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 study highlights extent of global P. vivax resistance

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.

View/download the Menzies Media Release_Research reveals extent of drug resistant malaria


SE Asia Health Ministers commit to control and eliminate vector-borne diseases

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


UN adopts Resolution on Malaria Elimination at 68th General Assembly

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.

Read the full 11 September press release online at GhanaWeb here.


National news picks up on regional malaria elimination

Malaria elimination and regional challenges of drug-resistant malaria have been recently highlighted by two national newspapers in APMEN Country Partners Vietnam and Malaysia.

Vietnam News, the country's English language daily newspaper ran a feature article on August 6 to highlight the history and present dangers of drug-resistant malaria, and interviewed several researchers from the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE), and the Ho Chi Mihn City-based Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU). Read the full article online here.

The Star Malaysia newspaper published a full-page article entitled, 'Malaria Threatens' on August 10; originally written by Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times. In the feature article, the author talks predominantly about the importance of Myanmar as a "lynchpin" country in the region, and the Gates Foundation's US$2 billion initiative to fight malaria. Dudley writes, 'Eliminating the disease is one of the most ambitious projects the world’s largest philanthropy has undertaken." Read the original online article in The Seattle Times here.

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