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Optimism about Malaria Eradication

We have taken an interest in optimism in optimism about malaria eradication.  Have a look at the Blog we prepared in the lead-up the World Malaria Congress (  Some of the extracts below come from that research.

Professor Brendan Crabb: The Case for Optimism

Dr Cathy MannerDirector of BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH)

"As we reflect on the increasing involvement of industry in the fight against malaria, we maintain that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies’ critical contributions of assets and know-how are cause for optimism and the most exciting advance towards malaria elimination. With industry on our side, we have one of the strongest allies in the fight against malaria."

Chukwuma Muanya

"Despite recent setbacks in efforts to eliminate malaria globally by 2030, experts are optimistic that the mosquito-borne disease could be wiped out from the surface of the Earth sooner than later."

Timothy Wells, chief scientific officer for MMV

“There is a reason to be optimistic. We are looking for medicines that are safe among children — the problem isn’t that they won’t work, but we need to ensure they will be safe enough to be used reliably, particularly among vulnerable populations.”

Dr Leanne Robinson's Case for Optimism 

Malaria: The Case for Optimism - Professor James Beeson

Dr Fe Esperanza Caridad Espin, Director of Research Support and Country Engagement for the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN).

We asked "Why are you optimistic that we can eradicate malaria?"

Effie Espino:  "I am optimistic as I see increased resources and commitment available. More countries have eliminated malaria and continue to do so. Eliminating malaria requires ingenuity in national program implementation, innovative health technologies – such as new medicines and insecticides – and approaches that unite diverse sectors and national efforts."

Ida Savadogo, Global Fund Francophone Africa Regional Platform Project officer

I'm optimistic that we can eradicate malaria because of the global action to eradicate this illness. In West Africa, we have actions like the impregnated mosquito net distribution campaign which consist of distributing free mosquito nets to the population.  This action has reduced the burden and incidence of malaria in the region.

Bill Gates, Philanthropist

"Based on the progress I’m seeing in the lab and on the ground, I believe we’re now in a position to eradicate malaria—that is, wipe it out completely in every country—within a generation. This is one of the greatest opportunities the global health world has ever had. Melinda and I are so optimistic about it that we recently decided to increase our foundation’s malaria budget by 30 percent...

we have tools today we’ve never had before—not everything we will need to achieve eradication, but more than we’ve ever had. Here are two of the recent innovations that fuel my optimism:

  • Diagnostics: Malaria is not only treatable but also curable, thanks to a class of drugs derived from a flowering plant called Artemesia annua, or sweet wormwood. But until recently, there was no good way for most people who came down with a fever to find out whether they had malaria. In 2010, we got a great new tool, called the RDT (rapid diagnostic test). Armed with this 50-cent test, community health workers with little training can determine in minutes with 99 percent accuracy whether someone has malaria or not. Last year, we deployed 200 million of them in Africa alone;
  • Modeling Systems: The digital revolution has produced fantastic new tools for tracking the disease. Public health experts are combining anonymous data from mobile phone records with data on malaria incidence to identify the key migration hotspots—allowing countries to target their resources in the most cost-effective and strategic ways. In Kenya, for example, these maps helped experts target large-scale tea plantations in the country’s Lake Zone. Comprehensive efforts at the plantations could make it possible to eliminate malaria from large swaths of the country’s highlands without even having to run elimination efforts there.

Just as important as any specific innovation, our team has converged on an eradication strategy that will make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. That strategy has three components: Complete Detection, Complete Cure, and Complete Prevention.

Lek Dysoley, Cambodian National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Programme.

We asked, "Why are you optimistic that we can eradicate malaria?"

Lek Dysoley: My optimism is driven by

  • Understanding of malaria pathways including biology, epidemiology and vector;
  • Available tools for the elimination of malaria from global to regional and country; 
  • Available frameworks and strategies to eliminate malaria from global to regional and country;
  • Commitment from the leaders of all countries, the country itself and including all stakeholders;
  • Commitment from international donors and national government as well.

Bernice Ogolo, Department of Parasitology and Entomology of Nigeria's Nnamdi Azikiwe University,

Victor Perton asked, "Why are you optimistic that we can eradicate malaria?"

Bernice Ogolo: "I am optimistic that we can eradicate malaria because malaria is not only treatable but also curable. With the Rapid Diagnostic tool, health workers with little training can determine in minutes with accuracy whether someone has malaria or not and treat accordingly so that the parasites will clear from the blood, thus preventing transmission. The use of these strategies as follows: complete detection (where the health worker will be able to find all people with the parasite in their blood regardless of whether they are showing symptoms, complete cure (using treatments that clear all malaria parasites from the body complete prevention (reducing opportunities for mosquitoes to pass the parasite to humans and preventing the emergence of strains that resist drugs and insecticides and the development of vaccines and community involvement will facilitate eradication. Since smallpox was eradicated, I am optimistic that with the new approaches to prevention, treatment, vaccine development. learning from the past and building on the new approaches and interventions, malaria can be eradicated. "

Nancy Stephen MatowoResearch Scientist and Medical Entomologist at the Ifakara Health Institute.

Victor Perton asked, "Why are you optimistic that we can eradicate malaria?"

Nancy Stephen Matowo: Over the last few years,  most of the tropical countries suffering under the malaria epidemic have joined their efforts to control and eliminate malaria and collaborated. One of the most inspiring successful examples is malaria elimination in Sri Lanka. 

The ecological setting, environment and social-economic conditions of Sri Lanka are similar to Tanzania, a developing country in East Africa where I come from. 

I am optimistic that with similar efforts, including the exchange of research outcomes and learning from the success stories, maximize the use of local resources and involving local communities, will eliminate malaria from Tanzania and Africa. 

Lucy Nyame, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Malaria Control Ltd. 

We asked, "Why are you optimistic that we can eradicate malaria?"

Lucy Nyame: We are very optimistic that we can eradicate malaria because there has been a huge scale-up of resources and brainpower focused on malaria elimination through: 

  • Indoor Residual Spraying 
  • Massive scale up in the use of long-lasting insecticide nets 
  • Malaria messages have been taken to areas with high transmission rates. 

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