Activities take place across the world to celebrate progress against malaria and encourage political, scientific and personal commitments to end the disease for good.
25th April marks the tenth World Malaria Day and the culmination of a month of worldwide action against the disease at a time when global malaria cases are on the rise for the first time in a decade.
With the rallying call ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is encouraging governments, health bodies, private sector companies and the public to accelerate progress against malaria, making this World Malaria Day even more vital.
“After a decade of success in pushing back malaria, it is on the rise again and will come back with a vengeance if we do not act decisively now,” warns Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
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On Wednesday 18 April 2018, in the culmination of a week of focus on a disease at a crossroads, the 53 leaders of Commonwealth nations committed to halve the burden of malaria across the Commonwealth within five years. Backed by financial, political and scientific commitments worth over £2.9bn ($4.1bn) made at the Malaria Summit London 2018 on Wednesday*, this commitment injects renewed energy to help put the world on track towards beating the disease.
Seventy days ago, organisations from around the world joined to launch the Malaria Must Die campaign, calling upon the Commonwealth to step up and take bold political action in the fight against the world’s oldest and deadliest disease. With reductions in cases and deaths stalling, the choice put to leaders was simple: make new commitments toward fighting malaria or go backwards and risk many more lives lost.
The response from Commonwealth leaders, the private sector, philanthropists and the development community has been outstanding. The global commitments made this week, alongside the promise to halve malaria cases and deaths across the Commonwealth within five years will help prevent over 350 million cases and save 650,000 lives. Now the hard work must continue to make good on this promise made to the millions of people at risk of malaria in Commonwealth countries.
This Commonwealth commitment demonstrates the importance of collective leadership and is a benchmark for renewed global attention and action, against malaria. This is a disease that has no borders and our approach to ending malaria cannot either.
We are Ready to Beat Malaria and look forward to working with the nations of the Commonwealth and their partners to ensure these game changing commitments are delivered.
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The RBM Partnership to End Malaria joins in congratulating Dr Kenneth Staley on his appointment as the next Global Malaria Coordinator of the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
PMI is the leading United States Government entity working to prevent and control, and ultimately end, malaria across the globe. It has been credited directly with saving the lives of 1.7 million children since its establishment in 2005. PMI is working in 24 malaria affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to three programmes combating anti-malarial drug resistance in the Greater Mekong sub-region. The United States Government is the largest funder to global malaria efforts, including support to the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
Welcoming today’s announcement, Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, said: “Dr Staley’s appointment comes at a critical juncture when the global fight against the disease calls for a renewed leadership from both malaria affected and donor countries to accelerate progress to meet global goals. We look forward to working with Dr Staley and our long-standing partners in the United States Government to realise our vision of a malaria-free world.” He also acknowledged Irene Koek’s leadership as acting PMI coordinator over the past year.
As Global Malaria Coordinator, Dr Staley will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of all US funding and activities relating to efforts to combat malaria. Dr Staley previously served in the US State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counterproliferation from 2008-2009 and was Director for Biodefense Policy at the White House Homeland Security Council from 2005-2008. He also has extensive experience working in the private sector on international health issues.
Since its inception, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria has worked at the intersection of health and sustainable development, in recognition of the fact that malaria is a disease that thrives in and results in poverty. Through its Strategic Plan 2018-2020, the Partnership seeks to promote developmental strategies that aspire to eradicate poverty to take the fight against malaria as part of their core missions. This can only be achieved through a multi-sectoral approach.
The structure of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria at global, regional, national and sub-national levels needs to reflect the multisectoral nature of the fight against malaria. In 2013, the RBM Partnership and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) developed a Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria, which made a compelling case for rethinking the way countries address malaria.
A multisectoral approach to malaria means that a wide range of stakeholders is engaged and the aims of malaria control and elimination are met by joint efforts. The RBM Partnership Strategic Plan 2018-2020 identifies key sectors such as education, extractive industries, housing, agriculture, environment, tourism and transport sectors as the trailblazers for robust engagement at all levels.
This year, we are working on building on these foundations to transform RBM into a truly multi-sectoral Partnership. As a first step, we are planning to develop and rollout a tool to help countries appraise the extent to which malaria has been integrated multisectorally and to develop action plans for increasing malaria-smart investments across priority sectors. This process will help countries identify concrete implementable actions that would transform the response to malaria- from being a concern of the health sector only, towards a coordinated multi-pronged effort that harnesses expertise across a range of sectors and institutions.
Some of our Partners have also put forward a proposal for accreditation of a new RBM multi sectoral malaria working group which the RBM Partnership Board will consider at its 9th meeting on 13-14 April. If approved, the Multi-Sectoral Working Group will bring together different stakeholders across different sectors including health, science and technology, international cooperation, infrastructure, water and sanitation, environment, food and agriculture, education, security, finance, trade, social protection and justice. The aim is to align partners in their actions for faster uptake and scale up of multi-sectoral collaboration and strategies.
On 18 April 2018, the London Malaria Summit will bring together leaders from across all sectors to renew commitments to accelerate progress towards ending history’s deadliest killer. Co-hosted by the Governments of Swaziland and Rwanda, and convened by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Malaria No More UK and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Malaria Summit will take place on the eve of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, taking advantage of this key opportunity to showcase national and international leadership on malaria from across the Commonwealth and beyond. Business leaders, philanthropists, scientists, Heads of States and civil society are convening to announce new commitments to beat malaria. Together, they will put up new resources, lend talent, money and knowledge, to reduce cases and deaths today while innovating for a malaria-free world in the future.
This month, we are also marking the 10th World Malaria Day on 25 April, with its theme of “ready to beat malaria”. As part of the celebrations, we are organising a roundtable in Geneva, together with the Swiss Malaria Group, which will explore how ending malaria will generate a ripple effect across the development spectrum.
April set to be a crucial month in the fight against malaria, as global leaders, scientists and activists unite to beat the disease.
With one month to go until World Malaria Day, April 25th, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is calling on political and business leaders, scientists and citizens worldwide to declare they are ready to beat malaria – one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases that puts half the world at risk and costs a child’s life every two minutes.
After a decade of progress, malaria cases have increased for the first time, and funding for malaria treatments and prevention has plateaued.
“April will be a momentous month in the global fight against malaria. We must ensure a renewed attention and commitment to ending malaria for good – from the highest political level down to local communities where the everyday fight against the disease is being fought,” said Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
The month is already set to be pivotal for the global malaria community, with the Malaria Summit held alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London on April 18th and the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) conference taking place in Dakar, Senegal from April 15th -20th.
The Malaria Summit and supporting public facing campaign Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live, is shining a spotlight on the critical and pressing decision Commonwealth leaders face urging them to continue their work towards beating the disease with renewed financial and political commitments or risk putting our hard-fought progress in jeopardy.
The high-level event takes place the day before the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, bringing together business leaders, philanthropists, scientists, Heads of States and civil society to announce new commitments to beating malaria. The commitments will be paired with a call to action to Commonwealth leaders, who represent citizens making up six out of ten malaria cases globally, to commit to accelerating progress against malaria.
The MIM conference, taking place simultaneously, will showcase the latest scientific breakthroughs coming out of the heavily burdened continent, giving scientists and researchers an opportunity to collaborate and share ideas as well as their latest research findings.
Other national and local events worldwide are planned in the lead up to and on World Malaria Day 2018 to raise awareness, celebrate progress and commit to new actions. These include:
Uganda plans to launch its new parliamentary group on malaria, as well as a new nationwide campaign to beat the disease;
The End Malaria World Festival is planned on April 24th -25th in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Nigeria is the highest burden country, accounting for 27% of global malaria cases.
Switzerland has a significant number of malaria related activities planned for April, with public events organised in seven major cities across the country, culminating in celebrations in Geneva on World Malaria Day.
In the UK, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Malaria Advocates are hosting a special event at the Palace of Westminster on April 24.
“This World Malaria Day, we are coming together as a global community to renew political commitment, step up funding, speed up scientific innovations, and spur citizen and communities action around the world, and in Africa in particular. The malaria fight is at a crossroads. If we don’t seize the moment now, our hard-won gains against the disease will be lost. We’re ready to beat malaria – are you?” concluded Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, RBM Partnership Board Chair.
This year marks the 10th World Malaria Day, an internationally recognised day to shine the spotlight on the global efforts to prevent, control and end malaria.
For more information about World Malaria Day 2018, please visit www.worldmalariaday2018.org
#readytobeatmalaria, #endmalaria and #worldmalariaday.