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 News - Events World Malaria Day 25 April
World Malaria Day 2023: Time to Deliver Zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate, Implement

World Malaria Day, marked each year o­n 25 April, brings together the global malaria community to highlight global efforts to end malaria, the need for sustained political commitment and continued investment for malaria control and elimination. Today, the combination of low coverage of existing tools, emerging biological threats and funding shortfalls are brewing a perfect storm for malaria. Now is the time to take decisive action to deliver o­n our goal of zero malaria and achieve 2030 targets. This World Malaria Day, it's time to deliver zero malaria.

History of World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, WHO's decision-making body. The day was established to provide "education and understanding of malaria" and spread information o­n "year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas" Prior to the establishment of WMD, Africa Malaria Day was held o­n April 25. Africa Malaria Day began in 2001, o­ne year after the historic Abuja Declaration was signed by 44 malaria-endemic countries at the African Summit o­n Malaria. World Malaria Day allows for corporations (such as ExxonMobil), multinational organizations (such as Malaria No More) and grassroots organizations (such as Mosquitoes Suck Tour) globally to work together to bring awareness to malaria and advocate for policy changes.

World Malaria Day is held each year o­n April 25th. This annual event is a worldwide effort, to raise awareness of Malaria and funds for the treatment and prevention of malaria. The day works to highlight the need for better political intervention in malaria control and prevention. The day also marks the continuing great achievements in the fight against Malaria.

Last year's theme for World Malaria Day was 'End Malaria for Good' and the day is hosted by the World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization is putting prevention of malaria to the forefront in this event, with the aim of reducing the massive global death toll of 400,000 people to Malaria every year. Efforts to highlight prevention has been reducing the death toll, especially through the use of insecticide and mosquito nets, as mosquitos are the most common carriers and spreaders of Malaria. The continued campaign of prevention is proving effective and saving lives, but there is still a long way to go.

World Malaria Day and continued awareness and prevention, as well as lobbying for better political support must continue and increase in order to eradicate the disease and prevent deaths from it. Investment and interest from governments is essential for this continued fight against Malaria and related deaths.

 

Themes of World Malaria Day from 2008 to 2022

Each World Malaria Day focuses o­n a specific theme. Current and past themes include the following:

World Malaria Day 2022: "Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives."

World Malaria Day 2019-2020-2021: "Zero malaria starts with me"

World Malaria Day 2018: "Ready to beat malaria"

World Malaria Day 2017: "LETS Close The Gap"

World Malaria Day 2016: "End Malaria For Good"

World Malaria Day 2013-2014-2015: "Invest in the future: defeat malaria"

World Malaria Day 2012: "Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria"

World Malaria Day 2011: "Achieving Progress and Impact"

World Malaria Day 2009-2010: "Counting malaria out"

World Malaria Day 2008: "Malaria: a disease without borders"

World Malaria Day 2023

World Malaria Day is an opportunity for us to keep malaria high o­n the global health agenda, with this year's theme:

Time to Deliver Zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate, Implement

 

Our theme for 2023 highlights the need for urgent action and further investment to ensure investments made to date deliver maximum impact in the fight to end malaria. This World Malaria Day, the global malaria community will come together to:

INVEST: Leaders in malaria-endemic and donor countries must urgently deliver bold investments in malaria control and elimination to bridge critical funding gaps and accelerate progress.

According the World Malaria Report 2022, in 2021, more than 40% of global malaria investment was channelled through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). In September 2022, via the Global Fund replenishment, a total of US$ 15.9 billion was raised through countries and partners, the largest replenishment in the history of the Global Fund. The replenishment fell short of the US$ 18 billion target at a time when the cost of health commodities is rising due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, conflict and the global recession. The shortfall means that the current replenishment will be under considerable strain to maintain and expand levels of malaria intervention coverage.

To optimize the impact of the limited resources, there will be an even greater need to maximize the efficient, effective and equitable use of malaria resources and other health system resources. Countries need to be able to identify the optimal mix of interventions suited to their local context and the best means of delivering them to all people in need, guided by local data.

INNOVATE:Urgent investment from the public and private sectors is required to deliver and tailor transformative and improved solutions to end malaria.

Despite recent setbacks, investment in R&D has played a crucial role in the success against malaria since 2000. Over the past 20 years, the backbone of the development of the malaria response has been RDTs to accurately diagnose malaria in primary health care settings and by community health workers, ACTs to respond to resistance to chloroquine and SP, and ITNs and eventually LLINs as vector control tools that were effective and relatively easy to scale up. In addition, new chemicals have been developed to address resistance of mosquitoes to the insecticides used in IRS.

In the field of vector control, there are 28 vector control products in the R&D pipeline. An expanded vector control toolbox that includes larviciding, eave tubes and targeted sugar baits designed to attract and kill mosquitoes. Other new interventions such as vector traps, eave tubes, spatial repellents and genetic control of mosquitoes are under different phases of development.

 

In2Care EaveTubes lethal house lure. Source: https://www.in2care.org

A host of vaccine candidates are in development. As with RTS,S, many of them target the parasite before it enters the human liver where it can quickly multiple. The most advanced of these vaccine candidates is R21, which has been recently completed phase 3 clinical trials. Other vaccines in development target later stages in the parasite's life cycle, target P. vivax or seek to protect women during pregnancy.

On malaria diagnosis, the most widely used RDT, which detects the parasite's HRP2/3 protein, is becoming less effective as the malaria parasite mutates; however, researchers are also pursuing the development of diagnostic tests that use alternative biomarkers. In addition, noninvasive diagnosis using saliva and urine is a growing area of investigation, with potential for rapid screening outside of conventional medical settings.

In terms of malaria treament, delivering non-ACT treatment options, as a contingency against the emergence of artemisinin resistance, is a global priority. A summary by MMV of medicines under development includes triple ACT that relies o­n a combination of the short-acting artemisinin with two long-acting partner drugs to mitigate the risk of resistance, and next-generation antimalarial treatments that use non-artemisinin chemical entities. Four novel drug combinations are now in clinical trials, and a host of candidate molecules are in early development; there are also new treatments to prevent malaria, particularly in pregnant women and in children at risk of infection.

IMPLEMENT: Country governments and communities around the world must continue to demonstrate leadership, adopt innovative and sustainable approaches and scale up national malaria programmes to target and deliver lifesaving tools to those who need them most.

The overall progress towards malaria control began to slow after 2015, well before the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to reach the milestones set by the GTS face even bigger challenges, particularly in the WHO African Region. Disruptions during the pandemic - combined with other humanitarian crises, health system challenges, restricted funding, rising biological threats and a decline in the effectiveness of core malaria control tools - threaten progress against malaria.

To optimize the impact of the limited resources, there will be an even greater need to maximize the efficient, effective and equitable use of malaria and other health system resources. Countries need to be able to identify the optimal mix of interventions suited to their local context and the best means of delivering them to all people in need. WHO has increased the transparency and flexibility of and the access to its malaria recommendations, to help countries to easily adapt the recommendations to their local context.

 

World Malaria Day 2023 will be marked under the theme "Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement". Within this theme, WHO will focus o­n the third "i" - implement - and notably the critical importance of reaching marginalized populations with the tools and strategies that are available today (WHO, 2023).

 

04/10/2023
(Translated and recapitulated by An Khang)  

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Central Vietnam responding to The World Malaria Day, April 25, 2009
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