World Strategy to eliminate Malaria
World Health Assembly Resolution
Malaria cases and deaths reduced significantly between 2000 and 2015. Nevertheless, the number is still high. 90% of deaths occurred in Africa and children under 5 are most at risk.
The World Health Assembly took a resolution in May 2013 to make a focused effort to reduce malaria cases and malaria deaths, and set targets for 2030.
The resolution can be found at #mce_temp_url#. In this Resolution, the global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 is adopted.
Since 90% of deaths occur in Africa, this is mostly directed to Africa, its health systems, and its leaders. The global community is urged to support the funding and implementation of the strategy.
The Strategy sets goals to aimed at dramatically lowering the global malaria burden in the next 15 years. They include:
- REDUCING MALARIA CASE INCIDENCE BY AT LEAST 90%
- REDUCING MALARIA MORTALITY BY AT LEAST 90%
- ELIMINATING MALARIA IN AT LEAST 35 COUNTRIES
- PREVENTING THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF MALARIA IN ALL COUNTRIES THAT ARE MALARIA-FREE
Countries are not all at the same level in terms of malaria control:
- High or moderate rates of malaria transmission: countries must aim to maximize the reduction of malaria cases and deaths.
- Countries approaching elimination: need enhanced surveillance systems to ensure that every infection is detected, treated and reported to a national malaria registry.
5 Key principles
The Strategy gives 5 key principles for action:
- Tailored responses: What works in one country, may not work in another and it is important that each country develops its own research-based responses.
- Country ownership and leadership: For elimination efforts to succeed, government needs to take a strong stance, together with the affected communities and crossborder collaboration.
- Strengthened surveillance. Malaria surveillance assist the planning of programmes and responses to changes in trends.
- Equity in access to health services.A high proportion of cases are found among vulnerable populations living in remote areas. Progress can be accelerated by ensuring access to malaria prevention and treatment for all at-risk groups, regardless of their legal status.
- Innovation in malaria control tools. Eliminating malaria will require new tools such as: development of improved diagnostics, more effective medicines, new insecticides and innovative vector control tools.
"The effectiveness of insecticide-based vector control is threatened as malaria mosquitoes develop resistance to the insecticides"
Some special issues in Africa
Why is the problem of malaria worse in Africa?
There are many reasons of course, one of which is the tropical climate of the continent. The reason why Lesotho has fewer problems than a tropical area like Rwanda clearly has to do with its geography.
Of course we have the usual culprits:
- Poverty which also implies challenges to access health systems, implementing simple solutions like nets, insecticides
- Management of water resources
- Inadequate health system
- Inadequate surveillance systems
- People who have gained some immunity to malaria and don't have visible symptoms, but are nevertheless affected
- Congenital transmission from mother to child
- Cross-border challenges
Even so, the continent has more than halved child deaths (children younger than 5 years) from malaria between 2000 and 2015.