Since 1998, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria (formerly Roll Back Malaria) has been central to the global fight against malaria. The past twenty years have seen tremendous gains in reducing the burden of disease and progressing towards malaria elimination.
The success of the RBM Partnership in harmonising partner action against malaria has enabled us to set an even more ambitious target: with the WHO Global Technical Strategy and accompanying RBM Action and Investment to defeat Malaria (AIM) setting our collective sights on a further 90% reduction by 2030; and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development under Target 3.3 calling on partners to "end" malaria. The expected cost to achieve these goals is currently estimated at ~$100 billion, setting us an equally ambitious resource mobilisation challenge to meet these targets.
After a two-year period of broad consultation and Board review and discussion, RBM has established a new, more robust structure that takes advantage of the tremendous skill, energy and effectiveness of its many partners and to move conclusively into a new era that will take action to realise the vision of a world free of malaria. This included a new Partnership Board of up to 15 individuals selected to contain enhanced levels of skills and experience at a senior decision-making level and representation from across the Partnership, including malaria-affected countries, private sector, entities outside the malaria and health sectors, civil society and donors.
13 Board Members were initially selected and convened in April 2016, and an additional two in December 2016. The list of the current Board Members can be found here: http://www.rollbackmalaria.org/organizational-structure/partnership-board/board-members.
The RBM Board agreed at its 9th Meeting in April 2018 to undertake a process to identify suitable individuals to fill 1 seat, as per the Board Rotation Policy approved in November 2017. The goal is to appoint Board Members based upon their individual skills, capabilities, as well as on their personal and organisational networks and commitment to the Partnership.
This document provides an overview of the nomination and selection process for the RBM Partnership Board.
The deadline for receipt of nominations is 8 July 2018 with the nomination and selection process due to conclude on 31 July 2018.
A Nomination Form can be found in Annex 1.
Global partnership urges countries close to elimination to stay committed to beating the preventable but deadly disease
11 June 2018 – Today, the nation of Paraguay is celebrating breaking free from the burden of malaria – a disease that claims a child’s life every two minutes – with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement that the country achieved malaria-free certification after five consecutive years of zero indigenous cases of malaria. Paraguay is the first country in the Americas to achieve this goal in 45 years.
The certification announcement was made at a WHO-sponsored Forum of 21 Malaria Eliminating Countries meeting in Costa Rica, alongside the release of a new WHO “E2020 report” tracking 21 countries’ efforts toward malaria elimination. The report highlights a potentially historic moment of progress in the malaria fight, with the majority of the 21 countries accelerating towards malaria elimination, putting the world on track to mark a major malaria milestone in 2020.
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the global platform for collective action against the disease, welcomed the news, praising Paraguay’s resolve over the years to get to zero malaria cases and protect the country from reintroduction of the disease. The RBM Partnership also noted the progress toward elimination and called on countries in a position to end the disease by 2020 to maintain a sense of urgency to reach zero malaria cases and to renew political commitment and funding to overcome bottlenecks and finish the job.
Read the full press release in [English][Spanish]
As Ministers of Health from around the globe gathered in Geneva for the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) last month, country ownership in global malaria response took the spotlight.
Country owned and country led efforts is what drives the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. Country ownership means walking the talk, and this furthermore means domestic resource mobilisation to achieve malaria elimination.
As Zambia’s Minister of Health, Dr Chitalu Chilufya, remarked at the side event on malaria elimination held during WHA: “Financing malaria elimination is costly, but not financing it is not any cheaper.” I couldn’t agree more. And Zambia is one country that is walking the talk when it comes to domestic resource mobilization.
In recent years, Zambia nation has increased domestic funding for its malaria programs from US$8 million to $25 million and has complemented the use of bed nets, indoor residual spraying, and access to treatment with an 8,000-member volunteer community health workers’ network.
In April 2018, the Zambian President Edgar Lungu launched the End Malaria Council, tapping the best minds to pursue the country’s ambitious goal of malaria elimination by 2021. This high-level council of individuals convened by President Lungu will oversee the country’s journey towards malaria elimination and ensure that sufficient resources are available to achieve it.
As a disease that profoundly affects nations’ economies and societies, malaria requires a strong multi-sectoral engagement and ownership to drive political, technical, and financial support. All of us at the RBM Partnership salute this important initiative and encourage other malaria endemic countries to establish similar high-level councils to ensure malaria elimination remains high on the political agenda.
Country ownership also extends beyond national borders in pursuit of enhanced regional collaboration to defeat malaria, and 71st WHA saw two important developments in this regard.
During a high-level meeting on the Sahel Malaria Elimination Initiative (SaME), a draft declaration, embodying a number of concrete political commitments, was presented and open to review and inputs. SaMe represents a coordinated sub-regional collaboration effort targeted at shrinking the malaria map through a multi-country platform and capitalizing on the specific epidemiological and ecological parallels. At present, eight countries are part of this initiative: Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and The Gambia.
Meanwhile, as part of the WHA side event, ministers of health and other senior representatives from the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) – Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – signed a Ministerial Call for Action to Eliminate Malaria in the GMS before 2030. The call places particular focus on the threat of multidrug resistance to malaria elimination in the subregion, which has been detected in a number of GMS countries over the last decade.
The RBM Partnership recognizes country ownership and leadership as the bedrock to end malaria. These latest initiatives give us hope that malaria endemic countries are indeed taking the lead in this global fight.
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria held its first Annual Partners’ meeting on 20 May 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland at the Movenpick hotel. The occasion gathered partners and stakeholders before the commencement of the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) in order to brief them on the status of malaria around the world, key innovations and developments, and provide an update from the RBM Partnership.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Before introducing the speakers, Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Chair of the RBM Partnership Board, provided an update on the RBM Partnership, noting the transformation that the RBM Partnership underwent after the external evaluation of 2013 in order to meet the 2030 malaria targets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho also mentioned the new governance structure and three Partner Committees which embody the core partnership functions, including Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation, Country and Regional Support, and Strategic Communications, as well as the affiliated Working Groups (including the newly accredited Multi-Sectoral Working Group), and the rebranding of the Partnership.
Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho recognised the efforts of the RBM Partners that contributed to saving nearly 7 million lives by cutting malaria deaths significantly. Dr Mpanju-Shubmusho mentioned that the fight against malaria is currently at a crossroads, and that without a renewed movement to mobilise political will and resources the hard-won gains against the disease may be lost. Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho went on to mention the high-level commitments and pledges made at the Malaria Summit in London during the month of April that will reignite progress towards ending malaria.
Keynote Address – HE Dr Chitalu Chilufya, Minister of Health, Zambia
The Zambian Minister of Health stressed the importance of malaria elimination to the country’s economic development and highlighted the continued efforts to prevent, control, and eliminate the disease that is prevalent with differing intensities throughout the country – noting “Our people won’t be wealthy unless they are healthy”. He went on to mention the prerequisites for successfully meeting the country’s ambitious goal to eliminate malaria by 2021: scaling up an integrated vector control programme with universal access to IRS; using the correct combination of interventions and recruiting local health agents as part of a people-centred approach; and increasing community mobilisation.
Panel Discussion - Global Innovations
The keynote address was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director General for Programmes, World Health Organization (WHO). Echoing Dr Chitalu Chilufya’s point, Dr Soumya stressed that by eliminating malaria, we are investing in our human capital. The panelists engaged in a discussion focusing on global innovations in the fight against malaria.
Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of WHO Global Malaria Programme, briefed participants on the 2017 World Malaria Report and the increase in malaria incidence after an unprecedented period of success in global malaria control over the past decade. Dr Alonso stressed that malaria is now at a crossroads and, with a plateau in funding and major funding gaps, progress can be easily reversed. Notwithstanding, Dr Alonso recognised the success of countries around the world, with specific mention of countries that are expected to be certified as malaria free in the near future.
Mr Lelio Marmora, Executive Director, Unitaid, continued the discussion by exploring Unitaid’s investments in malaria and the impact of innovations in the fight against the disease. With a portfolio of US$ 300 million, Unitaid is investing in innovations in all areas including prevention and case management, as well as in crosscutting innovations. Specific mentions were made to Next Generation Indoor Residual Spray (NgenIRS), TIPTOP: Transforming IPT for Optimal Pregnancy, CARAMAL: Rectal artesunate for severe malaria, ACCESS-SMC. The impact of these grants, respectively, is that they will improve affordability of new insecticides for resistance, catalyse uptake of IPTp and improve referral to antenatal care, as well as bending the curve of malaria mortality by saving many more lives.
Dr Elizabeth Chizema, Director at National Malaria Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Zambia discussed the importance of tailored and targeted investments in malaria. Dr Chizema stressed the heterogeneous nature of malaria, even within one country, and how targeted investments focusing on specific interventions can further our fight against malaria, and the importance of combining different interventions in an adapted manner.
Ms Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), continued the discussion with an overview of Accountability and Action Scorecard management tools.
Ms Phumaphi spoke of the success of the ALMA Scorecard, developed in 2011 after request from ALMA Heads of State, and how it has enhanced tracking and accountability for malaria and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). Following this success, ALMA has supported the development of country malaria scorecards and action trackers. Ms Phumaphi also touched on the importance of innovation and mentioned the functionality of country scorecards allowing higher level engagement via the new SMS functionality workplan tracking feature and the decentralisation of scorecards to the community level. Ms Phumpahi also mentioned that ALMA is working to roll out End Malaria Councils in countries, engaging both government and external actors.Dr David Reddy, Chief Executive Officer, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), was the next panelist to take the stage with a discourse on new malaria drugs and development. Dr Reddy displayed the increase of anti-malaria drug resistance over the years and the stalling progress in the reduction of malaria mortality in Africa since 2016, therefore recalling the need for MMV’s strong R&D portfolio of innovative antimalarial drugs that address current unmet medical needs and emerging drug resistance, and increase the operational feasibility of malaria elimination programs.
Mr Mathias Mondy, Business Development Manager, Innovation Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), added to the discussion on the role of vector control in the fight against malaria mainly through ITN distribution and IRS treatment campaigns. Mr Mondy demonstrated that the vector control community is moving away from ‘business as usual’ through groundbreaking initiatives best exemplified by ZeroX40, whereby five chemical companies have joined forces to develop innovative vector control solutions. Mr Mondy concluded by suggesting four recommendations for malaria elimination: a complete toolbox to prevent resistance and provide adapted solutions; a clear pathway from the development stage to market uptake of new products and tools in order to incentivise innovation; an access strategy for resource-poor countries to allow to-scale interventions; and, lastly, a commitment from funders and innovators to stay the course.
Dr Swaminathan wrapped up the panel discussion up by thanking the panelists and invited questions from the audience, which focused, inter alia, on Zambia’s lessons learnt, fever management, resource mobilization, and the importance of communities and infrastructure in the fight against malaria.
Closing Remarks Dr Kenneth Staley, Global Malaria Coordinator, United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) started off by introducing himself as the new US Global Malaria Coordinator, having assumed the position less than a month before. Dr Staley spoke about the sources of malaria funding being majorly bilateral, with other funding being sources from partners such as the Global Fund. Dr Staley stressed that data-driven decision making should be used to drive efficiencies with comparative advantage. Dr Staley also addressed that the outlook should be unique as per the country context when thinking of how to move forward. Dr Staley expressed that this move should involve a layered approach, coordination between vector control, IRS, etc. and, finally, the scaling up of tools.
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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