Latest News From RBM

The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The RBM Board unanimously selected the exceptional Dr. Kesete for the role of RBM CEO at the 4th Partnership Board Meeting, following an extensive global search and selection process supported by executive search firm Egon Zehnder.

Dr Kesete will play a critical role as the global face of the new Partnership on a day-to-day basis, including establishing and leading a new Partnership Management Team and ensuring that regions and countries are empowered to address the global fight against malaria. 

Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Board Chair of the RBM Partnership said “As a champion of innovation, task-shifting and implementation at scale, Dr Kesete has the experience required to lead this global Partnership into a new era and drive momentum to end malaria for good. We are incredibly excited to welcome him on board.”

Dr Kesete will officially commence duties on 1 February 2017 and move into the new RBM offices at the Global Fund in Geneva on 1 March 2017. The RBM Board Leadership will support him in the phased recruitment of remaining members of the new Partnership Management Team over the course of 2017.  

“I am excited to join RBM Partnership as the CEO. I look forward to working with all the RBM partners in the effort to relegate malaria into the history books." - Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu

Roll Back Malaria Partnership welcomes End Malaria Council


January 20, 2017 – The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board welcomes the launch of the End Malaria Council, a high-level group of public and private sector leaders focused on accelerating global efforts to end malaria.

Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ray Chambers, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Health in Agenda 2030 and for Malaria, announced the launch of the Council today alongside the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

The launch of the Council comes at a critical moment in the malaria fight. Progress against the disease since 2000 has been remarkable –  deaths have been cut in half. Still, the RBM Partnership Board affirmed the need for the Council as more pressing than ever.

In December, the World Health Organization’s 2016 World Malaria Report highlighted the urgent need to mobilize resources to keep the world on track to meet control and elimination goals. A key focus of the End Malaria Council will be identifying new and innovative sources of financing.

“The next chapter in the malaria fight could be our most challenging yet,” said Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Board Chair of the RBM Partnership. “We are eager to work in partnership with the End Malaria Council to leverage their networks and passion to cultivate new champions, support the development of new tools, and identify new sources of funding to fuel this fight.”


In Recognition of Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer’s Incredible Contribution to the Global Fight Against Malaria

Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer Departs PMIOn 17 January 2017, Admiral Tim Ziemer formally concluded his role as Global Coordinator of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).

Appointed in June 2006, Admiral Ziemer has served as the U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator for the past ten years, leading the Initiative across two Administrations. This historic U.S. Government initiative was launched by President Bush in 2005 and was continued and expanded under President Obama's administration. PMI have been a critical and pivotal partner and donor to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership since its inception and their continued funding, guidance and support have ensured RBM has continued to grow, evolve, and thrive.

Admiral Ziemer has been widely recognized as “one of the most quietly effective leaders in public health.” Under Admiral Ziemer’s Leadership PMI has made an incredible contribution to the fight against malaria with over USD 4 billion committed to malaria projects globally since 2006. Since he took on the role, he has presided over a decade of unprecedented progress in the malaria fight leading to a 29% reduction in malaria mortality rates globally since 2010[1].

As an active RBM Board Member, Admiral Ziemer has made an unparalleled personal contribution to the RBM Partnership. His many achievements have included his crucial role as Co-Chair of the RBM Transition Oversight Committee (TOC), where he expertly co-led the Partnership through a period of significant change, transition, and transformation between 2015 and 2016.

The current RBM Board Chair, Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, warmly thanked and congratulated Admiral Ziemer for his personal contribution:

Admiral Ziemer's experience, expertise and dedication have been an incredible asset to the RBM Partnership and his personal contribution to the fight against malaria cannot be underestimated”

Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, MD; MPH; M.MED.
Board Chair, Roll Back Malaria Partnership


The RBM Board Leadership are delighted to confirm that Admiral Ziemer will continue in his role as an RBM Board Member in his personal capacity, so that it can continue to draw on his expert input, insight, and guidance as it moves forward.

The RBM Partnership wishes to place on record its sincere appreciation and thanks for the immense contribution of Rear Admiral Ziemer and wish him well for all of his future endeavours.


The World Health Organization’s 2016 World Malaria Report launched on 13 December, highlighted the continued progress in the malaria fight, particularly for the most vulnerable. Since 2000, malaria deaths rates have fallen by more than 62 percent – and by 69 percent among children under 5 – saving 6.8 million lives. In the same period, 17 countries have successfully eliminated malaria entirely. The 2020 target of eliminating malaria in 10 more countries is within reach.

However, the report also highlighted the resources required to sustain this progress and with a child still dying every two minutes from this preventable, treatable disease, the fight is far from over and the contribution the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership needs to make has never been more important.

We have made tremendous progress in 2016 as we transform the Partnership and to ensure it is fit for purpose to lead the fight in this new era. We have worked together to create a new Partnership capable of mobilizing the necessary resources for the global malaria response, advocating for malaria to sustain political will and coordinating support to affected countries and facilitating communication across partners and the global community to lead the global fight to end malaria for good.

Our achievements to date have included:

  • Recruitment and selection of a new Partnership Board and Board Leadership with the skills, experience and expertise to take the Partnership forward into the new era.
  • Approval of new RBM Bye-Laws to provide revised guiding governing principles for the Partnership moving forward.
  • Selection of UNOPS as RBM’s new hosting organization to provide a new legal status and effective supporting infrastructure.
  • The design of a new more focused, flexible and efficient management team structure to ensure we focus and coordinate resources on where they are needed most.
  • Convening of new Partnership Committees and their leadership with a growing list of over 200 members from across the Partnership to effectively coordinate work in the critical areas of advocacy and resource mobilization, country / regional support and strategic communications.
  • Identification of new sources of funding to support the vital work of the Partnership globally.
  • Continuation of critical work delivered by dedicated partners to ensure that the Partnership maintains its active coordinated support to countries in malaria affected countries.

The 4th RBM Partnership Board meeting on 15/16 December 2017 maintained this exceptional progress. Decisions included the approval of new female Board members to fill the two vacant seats on the RBM Partnership Board, including representation from the Americas, approval of a provisional 2017 budget and arrangements to ensure transparent governance and effective finance and risk management. The Board also identified an individual for the role of RBM CEO (subject to contract) expected to commence work in Q1 of 2017, as well as a target recruitment profile to swiftly establish a fully functioning permanent management team.

The Board also reviewed emerging priorities and plans for 2017 from the newly established Partner Committees to ensure that the Board remain externally focused on the core areas of work that will help us lead the global fight to end malaria together with the direct engagement of all interested malaria partners.

It is an extremely exciting time for RBM and as we move forward to 2017 with strength and purpose. I am incredibly grateful for the active support and engagement from across the Partnership during this transformation process and I more confident than ever of the contribution we can make in achieving our shared vision of a malaria free world.

Board Chair Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho




Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board with speakers from the UK launch of the World Health Organization’s 2016 World Malaria Report, 13th December 2016. 

From Left to Right - Jeremy Leroy MP, Chair UK APPG on Malaria & NTDs (event host), Jeremy Farrar OBE, Director Wellcome Trust, Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho​, Rt Hon. Priti Patel MP, UK Secretary of State for International Development, Dr Pedro Alonso, Director WHO Global Malaria Program, Mark Dybul, Executive Director Global Fund.

The World Health Organization’s 2016 World Malaria Report was launched today in London. 

The report highlights continued progress in the malaria fight, particularly for the most vulnerable. Since 2000, malaria deaths rates have fallen by more than 62 percent – and by 69 percent among children under 5 – saving 6.8 million lives. In the same period, 17 countries have successfully eliminated malaria entirely.  

The 2020 target of eliminating malaria in 10 more countries is within reach, according to the report. In 2015, 10 more countries and territories reported fewer than 150 indigenous cases. But the report also highlights that more resources will be needed to put us on track to achieve the overall 2020 mortality and case reduction targets, particularly in countries with heavy malaria burdens.

A powerful reminder of the progress to date, and what remains to be done.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board, said the report is a powerful reminder of the progress to date in the malaria fight – and of what remains to be done:

“We are making remarkable progress in scaling up cost-effective malaria interventions - reaching more of those at risk than ever before - and we are seeing these efforts yield results with malaria cases & deaths continuing to decline. But, with a child still dying every two minutes from this preventable, treatable disease, we are far from done,” said Dr. Mpanju-Shumbusho. “We have proved what can be achieved. Now is the time for us to step up our collective efforts, to build on this success, and accelerate progress.“

New analysis in the report confirms that since 2000, decreased malaria mortality rates have contributed to significant gains in life expectancy across the region. The past five years alone have seen new malaria cases fall by 21 percent and deaths from malaria by 29 percent.

The report notes that recent success in reducing malaria cases and deaths is due, in large part, to improved access to proven malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including:

  • Almost doubling the proportion of people sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets in Sub-Saharan Africa from 30% in 2010 to 53% in 2015.
  • Significantly increasing the utilization of malaria diagnostic testing for children showing signs of fever.
  • A five-fold increase in pregnant women accessing a full course of preventive malaria treatment across 20 countries – from 6% in 2010 to 31% in 2015.

Despite these gains, malaria still exacts a heavy toll on families and communities.

According to the report, in 2015, there were 212 million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths. One child dies from malaria every two minutes.

Malaria remains both a major cause and a consequence of global poverty and inequity: its burden is greatest in the least developed areas and among the poorest members of society. Many of those most vulnerable – especially young children and pregnant women – are still not able to access the life-saving prevention, diagnosis and treatment they so urgently need.

Funding gaps and investment must be addressed.

The report notes that in order to reach the 2020 malaria targets in the Global Technical Strategy, programmatic and funding gaps must be urgently addressed. Over the past five years, global financing for malaria has flat-lined. The funding must increase substantially from both domestic and international sources.

Investment is also needed for new and improved tools. WHO is calling for greater investments in vector control interventions, improved diagnostics and more effective medicines. Last month, WHO also announced that the world’s first malaria vaccine would be piloted in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Vaccinations will begin in 2018.

The report states that recent experience in combatting malaria has shown that with robust funding, effective programmes and country leadership, progress towards global malaria goals can be accelerated.

The challenges of reaching the 2020 GTS targets, though sizeable, are not insurmountable.


  • The World Malaria Report released each year by the WHO Global Malaria Programme, tracks progress and trends in malaria control and elimination at global, regional and country levels towards the 2020 malaria targets of the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 (GTS).

    Read the full report here