Roll Back Malaria Progress & Impact Series:
Eliminating Malaria: Learning from the Past, Looking Ahead
Eliminating Malaria: Learning from the Past, Looking Ahead, the eighth report in the Roll Back Malaria Progress & Impact Series, details previous malaria elimination and eradication efforts to date, and summarizes ongoing progress in all malaria-endemic areas of the world. Country and regional goals of malaria elimination will become a reality when we truly achieve universal access to and utilization of today's tools — while investing in the people and systems required to implement them as well as in the research required to develop tomorrow's transformative tools. Following are the key messages from the report:
- Eliminating malaria by the end of 2015 in at least eight to ten new countries, including the entire WHO European Region, is one of the RBM Partnership's three objectives.
- The malaria community is back on track helping countries progress to elimination. Since 2007, three countries have been certified by WHO as malaria-free. Sixteen countries and territories were certified by WHO as malaria-free during the 17 years of the Global Malaria Eradication Programme (1955 to 1972), and seven countries and one territory were certified in the period 1973–1987. After this, certification was abandoned for a period of twenty years.
- Further progress in malaria elimination is occurring in most regions in the world.
- Seven countries are in the phase of preventing reintroduction and some may soon be ready for certification. Ten countries currently are in the elimination phase and nine countries are in the preelimination phase.
- Successful malaria elimination programmes are built on strong national leadership, commitment to high-quality staffing and programme delivery, national stability (political and socioeconomic), sound technical approaches that address local malaria biology and evolve with changing epidemiology, and effective surveillance systems that can rapidly detect and contain transmission.
- Malaria elimination can be fragile and, once achieved, needs to be sustained through continued effort. Concomitant investments to improve socioeconomic conditions and housing in the at-risk areas, as well as raising awareness regarding key malaria elimination activities among community and business leaders, health workers and the wider public, will be critical to achieving and sustaining success.
- Many countries in the control phase have substantially reduced malaria morbidity and mortality and some have established or expanded malaria-free areas — progress that will require ongoing support for eventual transition to nationwide pre-elimination and elimination.
- Countries with intense malaria transmission will require new tools and strategies to speed their advance to elimination; maintaining investment for research and development and strengthening public-private partnerships' capacity to pursue long-term elimination objectives are essential. However, extraordinary progress is possible with existing tools and we must act now, while planning for the availability of new tools.
- In addition to national commitment, sustained and predictable technical and financial support will be required from regional and global partners for malaria elimination efforts in many settings. Investments in malaria control need to increase substantially over existing levels.
- Tremendous public health successes can be achieved on the way to malaria elimination, through its focus on the systematic building of local and community empowerment for health, quality health service-delivery mechanisms that reach the most peripheral areas, surveillance systems for timely detection and containment of disease transmission, and a new generation of results-oriented public health leadership.