Latest News From RBM

5th October 2015 – William C. Campbell, Satoshi Omura and Youyou Tu were honoured this week  by the Nobel Committee for finding natural treatments of diseases caused by parasites.  

Dr. Campbell and Dr. Omura were awarded for their discovery of Avermectin, a medicine against river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, and Dr. Tu was honoured for discovering Artemisinin, a drug that kills the Malaria parasite at an early stage of its development.

In 1969, as part of a secret research unit entitled “523”, Tu was given the task of finding a drug that would cure malaria, a disease which was killing Chinese troops at the height of the Vietnam War.
Originally trained in traditional Chinese medicine, Tu researched the sweet wormwood plant, Artemisia annua, and discovered a chemical in the extract of the plant, now known as Artemisinin, which killed malaria parasites in the blood. This revolutionary discovery occurred when traditional treatments with chloroquine or quinine were becoming less effective.

Tu was the first to show that this component, later called Artemisinin, was highly effective against the malaria parasite, both in infected animals and humans” stated the Nobel Committee. This discovery by Dr. Tu revolutionized malaria treatments, such as through artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) which are used to treat uncomplicated malaria cases today.

Dr. Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of RBM, praised this decision by the Nobel Assembly, as the use of Artemisinin Combination Therapies has cut mortality rates, saved millions of lives, and significantly reduced global suffering.

“ Dr. Tu showed us how nature offers a remedy to debilitating parasitic infections and can be used for humanity’s benefit, ” said Dr Nafo -Traoré.  RBM Partnership sends its deepest appreciation and congratulations to Dr. Tu for this great achievement and contribution to mankind.

25 September 2015, New York: Today during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, world leaders adopted the much anticipated 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – including its 17 agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Following far-reaching regional consultations and member state negotiations, this new agenda builds on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and highlights the scale and ambition of a new universal aspiration to stimulate action and transformative growth over the next fifteen years …”that will leave no one behind”.

Situated under SDG 3Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages – the SDGs call for an “end to the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases…” by 2030 (SDG3.3).

Malaria and the Sustainable Development Goals

Over the last fifteen years, a significant achievement of the MDGs has been the progress in the global fight against malaria. High level political commitment, increased resources, and a vibrant partnership has mobilized for coordinated action, and stimulated innovation, new tools, strategic planning, greater integration and a strengthening of health and community systems.

Key lessons have been learned - the benefits of multisectoral engagement, the critical need for equity, access and ownership by affected countries and communities, and the close links between malaria and economic development that will ensure sustainability. These lessons demonstrate how the response to malaria can serve as a prototype for sustainable development and underscore how continuing to drive down the burden of malaria will be critical to the attainment of the SDGs.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has joined the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) and strengthened the globally recognized push for the region to become malaria-free by 2030.

APMEN brings together 18 countries in the Asia Pacific region that have adopted a national or sub-national goal for malaria elimination and connects them with a broad range of regional and global malaria partners to develop best practices in a united drive towards regional elimination.

Papua New Guinea has the highest number of confirmed cases in the Western Pacific region, with over 1.1 million confirmed cases and 307 deaths in 2013, according to the World Health Organization.

Secretary for Health in Papua New Guinea, Mr Pascoe Kase, said the official partnership with APMEN had been a priority for quite some time, and he is pleased to see this collaboration come to fruition.

 “The PNG National Department of Health sees the partnership with APMEN s as an avenue to develop technical knowledge and expertise to deal with the challenges of pre-elimination and then elimination of malaria,” Secretary Kase said.

 “In return, PNG has in-depth experience and knowledge of working with the private sector for elimination in some of our provinces, and this information could be useful to the country partners of APMEN.”

Eliminating malaria is one of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals for PNG, which seeks to have malaria under control by 2015 and reverse the incidence of malaria by 2020.

Papua New Guinea’s new membership to the regional network provides the opportunity to share new insights and challenges to working towards malaria elimination with other APMEN Country Partners.

APMEN also hopes the partnership with PNG will help build new relationships and strengthen existing ones with groups such as Rotary Against Malaria, the PNG Institute of Medical Research, The Medicines for Malaria Venture and The PNG Industry Malaria Initiative.

Further information, visit and tag your tweets with #malariaelimination and #MFAP2030

The RBM Secretariat , in collaboration with the RBM Board and the Malaria Advocacy Working Group, has prepared a Q&A to respond to the many questions received following the announcement of the closure of the Partnership Secretariat. Please find these questions and answers in the attachment below. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat through the Executive Director’s Office or the Executive Committee Board Chair.

[View the Q&A Here]