It was my pleasure to join the Sustainable Consumption and Production meeting hosted by OnePlanet at UNEA6 and discuss the importance of enabling…
Marked each year on April 25, World Malaria Day brings together the global malaria community to celebrate the milestones achieved in the fight against malaria and consider the challenges still ahead.
While the latest World Malaria Report showed that countries around the world largely held the line against further setbacks to malaria prevention, testing and treatment services, it also confirmed that malaria remains a significant threat to millions of people worldwide. There were an estimated 619 000 malaria deaths globally in 2021, with the African region shouldering about 96% of these deaths.
This year, World Malaria Day will be marked under the theme “Time to Deliver Zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate, Implement”. This theme draws attention to the pressing need to deliver bold investments in malaria control and elimination, to innovate to deliver transformative and improved solutions, and to implement the lifesaving tools and strategies we have available today to reach those who need them the most.
This year’s theme is particularly relevant, given the multiple challenges that malaria control efforts are facing, and which are threatening to derail progress towards malaria elimination. These include low coverage of existing tools, the emergence of biological threats, as well as funding shortfalls.
Despite the significant contributions of countries and partners, last year’s Global Fund replenishment fell short of achieving the target needed to maintain life-saving malaria programmes at current levels, scale up the latest innovations and reach everyone living at risk from malaria. Meanwhile, challenges such as those linked to increasing drug and insecticide resistance are threatening the effectiveness of core malaria-control tools and jeopardizing progress in the fight against the disease. Rising temperatures are also creating new environments where malaria-carrying mosquitoes can thrive and causing significant disruption to malaria programmes.
Now is the time to take decisive action against this age-old disease. Countries and partners must urgently invest in programmes, innovate to develop new tools and implement strategies to accelerate progress against malaria. It’s time to deliver zero malaria.