Latest News From RBM

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 #readytobeatmalaria, #endmalaria and #worldmalariaday.  
  On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8 March, Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, has joined the International Gender Champions network. Launched in Geneva in 2015, International Gender Champions is a leadership network that brings together female & male decision-makers determined to break down gender barriers and make gender equality a working reality in their spheres of influence. “Women, especially pregnant women and children, are disproportionately affected by malaria – an entirely preventable and treatable disease which puts half the world at risk and costs a child’s life every two minutes. It is therefore critical that we pay attention to gender aspects in the fight against malaria,” noted Dr Kesete Admasu. “By joining the International Gender Champion network, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria will promote gender equality within its leadership and among its more than 500 partners ranging from malaria affected countries to private sector companies to research and non-profit organisations. We look forward to working with and learning from other Gender Champions in pursuit of our vision of a malaria-free world,” he added. As part of joining the network, the RBM Partnership CEO committed to establish in 2018 an RBM Partnership Gender Task Force, bringing in members from throughout the Partnership, to ensure gender considerations are adequately reflected in the malaria sector. He further pledged to achieve gender parity in the RBM Partnership leadership positions and partnership mechanisms, including the Board, Partner Committees and Secretariat. The RBM Partnership also contributed to the Global Health 50/50 report, launched on 8 March, focusing on gender equality in organisations working in or influencing global health. Global Health 50/50 is an independent initiative to advance action and accountability for gender equality in global health and contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who wrote the Foreword to the report, has encouraged other sectors to undertake similar analyses.
  The 1st of February 2018 marked my first year in office as CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. It has been a remarkable year for the reinvigorated RBM Partnership and, with the new Partnership mechanisms, Board-approved Strategic Plan 2018-2020, and the Secretariat team in place, we have now reached our ‘cruising altitude’ just in time for this crucial year for the global malaria community. In this month’s update, I would like to share three of the Partnership’s priority initiatives for 2018. Mobilising political commitment: We have entered 2018 firmly at a crossroads in the fight against malaria, especially in Africa which carries more than 90% of the disease burden and progress has stalled over the past few years. We need a new movement to mobilise the political will and resources, as well as citizen action, towards effective malaria control and elimination. Inspired by Senegal’s “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign, the RBM Partnership and the African Union Commission are now working together to launch a major public-facing campaign for a malaria-free Africa at the forthcoming African Union Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania in July. In its new expanded phase, the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign will reignite grassroot movements in which individuals, families, communities, religious leaders, private sector, political leaders, and other members of the community pledge to take responsibility in the fight against malaria. This pan-African initiative to defeat malaria befits with the African Union reform agenda of popular movement and civic engagement to deal with the continent’s key issues. Through this campaign, while providing a unique opportunity to engage communities from the grassroots level up to the Heads of State, we hope to generate renewed commitments for the fight against malaria, such as increasing domestic resources, multisectoral interventions, and robust involvement of the private sector. Promoting regional cooperation: Regional cooperation is key to defeating malaria and is therefore at the heart of the Partnership’s strategy for 2018-2020. Several sub-regions across the world have stepped up their cross-border collaborative efforts towards malaria elimination – the Greater Mekong sub region, E8 nations in southern Africa and Mesoamerica malaria elimination financing initiative are notable examples. At their meeting in Monaco last year, eight west African countries — Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger Senegal and The Gambia — have agreed to accelerate malaria elimination in the Sahel region, and we are now working with WHO and other partners to roll out this initiative in 2018. China’s support to malaria endemic countries: The People’s Republic of China is a strategic development and the largest trading partner to malaria affected countries. It is stepping up its effort of mutual economic development to an unprecedented level. The RBM Partnership has established a China-RBM steering committee by drawing senior leaders from relevant Chinese institutions, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and WHO. The aim of this collaboration is to leverage China’s investment and better align its bilateral aid to meet national malaria programme needs – contributing everything from innovation, to provision of quality-assured commodities and building capacity in surveillance and operations. A scoping mission to four African countries will be conducted in April and will hopefully be followed by a demonstration project. The steering committee is also tasked to organise a high-level malaria summit in 2019. 2018 also marks 20 years since the launch of the original RBM Partnership. It is therefore an opportunity to not only celebrate two decades of collective action by more than 500 RBM Partners, but also look ahead at the next 20 years which I hope will bring us closer to realising our shared vision of a malaria-free world. I look forward to hearing from and engaging with many of you in the year ahead and thank you again for your continued support to the RBM Partnership.