Latest News From RBM

Earlier this month, Roll Back Malaria's Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) Working Group hosted a meeting for members of the Maternal and Child Survival Program's (MCSP) technical, child health, community health and civil society engagement teams. This provided a forum for these groups to review potential activities and objectives for the second year of this cooperative venture.

The profile of MCSP was raised this April, with the program's women-centred strategy (acknowledging their primary carer role for children under five) clearly aligning with directives issued at World Malaria Day, 2015. Inevitably, international attention on MiP was the first topic on the discussion agenda, which anticipated that collective activity would improve understanding and promotion of MiP policies through leadership and coordination. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership was identified as the on-going nexus of the working group's aims, and central to accelerating their programming.

The members also identified that this global leadership would help streamline communications and coverage around Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM), with the view to inform resource mobilisation for child health. Another outcome saw intervention support earmarked to the community-based Child Survival and Health Grant Program (CSHGP), as well as the introduction of Malaria Technical Advisors to complement the Global Fund's malaria work.

Going forward in this critical year for sustainable development in the fight against malaria, the MCSP looks set for another challenging and progressive 12 months.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon released the final report on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The review found significant progress in the world’s efforts to combat malaria, with deaths at an all-time low and 6.2 million  lives saved since the start of the Millennium. Speaking at the event in Oslo, Norway, Ki-Moon highlighted: “the report confirms that the global efforts to achieve the Goals have saved millions of lives and improved conditions for millions more around the world”.

Malaria targets were historically surpassed, recording a 69% decline  in the rate of child deaths from the disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. This remarkable progress has been due largely to a tenfold increase in international financing for malaria since 2000, along with strengthened political commitment and the availability of larger-scale, pioneering tools such as diagnostic testing and artemisinin-based combination therapies. This has substantially increased access to malaria prevention and treatment interventions. Over the past 15 years since MDG 6 was conceived, global malaria incidence has fallen by an estimated 37 % with a 58 % decrease in mortality rate [see Figure 1].

However, while these results exceeded the MDG target, the fight against malaria is not over. The disease still poses a major health security challenge with an estimated 3.3 billion people at risk globally. RBM encourages a multi-sectoral approach moving forward, to secure the progress that has been made up to this point. Ki-Moon emphasises that “the year 2015 is a landmark for humanity. The deadline for the MDGs is upon us, and a new universal development agenda [SDGs] for the next 15 years will be adopted by world leaders in September.” The SDGs represent an opportunity to set renewed challenges and feasible goals in the progress towards eliminating malaria everywhere, for everyone. 

1, 2 Estimates projected to end of 2015.

(13 July Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) Today world leaders convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. Malaria elimination featured high on the agenda with H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) and H.E. Madame Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, hosting a side session on financing malaria to encourage increased domestic and international support to achieve ambitious 2030 malaria goals.

Malaria Financing for a New Era: An Exceptional Case for Investment provided a platform to showcase the benefits of investing in malaria,  highlighting the need for innovative approaches to increase funding, and accelerate progress.

United Nations Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon, flagged the unique opportunity provided by the SDGs: “As we move toward a new set of global goals for sustainable development, we have an unprecedented opportunity to put an end to the global threat of malaria once and for all. Achieving this will take continued and greater investments from all countries, including a robust replenishment of the Global Fund.”

Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, reinforced the importance of ensuring country-led approaches stating, “Countries must lead; domestic resources leverage international funds.”

Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO and Dr Fatoumata Nafo Traoré , Executive Director of RBM also presented their respective Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and Action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016-2030 – for a malaria-free world, during the side session, which together provide the path toward malaria’s elimination and contributing to many of the proposed SDGs.

Read the press release here.

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the United Nation’s Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing for the Health Related Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria,  and Malaria No More co-organized the official side event.