It is this time of year again, when on the 25thof April researchers, NGOs, civil society groups, corporate sector, governments reinstate their will and efforts to contribute to malaria eradication on the occasion of World Malaria Day.
For some this day might seem redundant. However, it has never been as important for people working towards malaria eradication and people affected by this deadly disease to join their voices and reaffirm the need to continue our efforts. Since 2016 the World Malaria Report has showed that progress against malaria has plateaued and that in some countries and regions malaria cases are increasing.
This plateau is a clear call for the development of new innovations and continuous efforts and investments in Research and Development if we are to find and curve new solutions to save millions of people’s lives from malaria worldwide.
This year, we really wanted to take part to the community effort around World Malaria Day to show the complementarity of our approach with other malaria innovations and highlight the importance of working together because Zero Malaria Starts with Me!
We also took the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to developing and sharing a new vector control tool for malaria and to do so, a commitment to co-develop this with stakeholders affected by the disease.
Together with a group of experts, we have worked for the past year to develop and write a paper that would share best practices and guidance for stakeholder engagement for area-wide vector control methods. The paper has been published today in PLOS NTD together with two other papers on the importance of engagement for innovation against malaria.
Our team in Mali recently worked with Mediaplanet UK on the 2019 Fight Against Malaria Campaign to share their work and approach to stakeholder engagement when developing a new vector control tool and an example of how they work with communities in-country can be found here.
We were also present yesterday on the eve of World Malaria Day, at the event organised by Malaria No More UK at the London Science Museum to discuss what it will take to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023. It was good to see the commitment of Commonwealth leaders and international key actors against malaria discussing what it would take in order to eradicate malaria once and for all. The involvement of communities and the development of new innovations were key elements in the discussions and are to play a key role if we want to overcome this disease.
If you too would like to take part in the campaign of Malaria No More UK and sign up for the petition to end malaria click here.
Today, I am taking part at the World Malaria Day event in Paris organised by RBM and the Paris municipality. This event gathers scientists, artists, leaders from Francophone countries who are calling for a renewed action towards malaria elimination and investments to save millions of lives. I am part of a panel discussing how to accelerate innovation towards Zero Malaria, together with the Minister of Health and Social Action of Senegal as well as other innovators working on vaccine, drugs and UNITAID.
So today for World Malaria Day, we commit to contribute to a world free of malaria by co-developing and sharing with our stakeholders an innovative vector control tool using genetic approaches and to work with others along the way so that in the future World Malaria Day can become the celebration of a global effort achieving malaria eradication!