Wednesday, April 25, marks World Malaria Day, which this year has the theme "Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria." The following opinion pieces address the fight against malaria.
- Mike Egboh, AlertNet: Given the theme of this year's World Malaria Day, "it is worth pausing to reflect on the need for integrated partnerships that are uniting efforts and amplifying resources to scale-up malaria prevention and treatment measures," Egboh, national program manger for the Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2) in Nigeria, writes. He describes how PATHS2, which is funded by the U.K.'s Department for International Development (DfID), provides malaria treatment through "an innovative partnership with Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) through the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) initiative." He concludes, "Ultimately, pooling resources through partnerships like this is one way of expanding access to quality and affordable [artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs)] in Nigeria to help drastically reduce malaria deaths and help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, especially those relating to improving child survival and maternal health" (4/24).
- Stephen O'Brien, Financial Times: "In addition to needing better tools" to fight malaria, including effective treatments and vaccines, as well as epidemiological data, "there is one major barrier to beating the scourge of this disease -- logistics," O'Brien, the U.K.'s international development minister, writes, adding, "We need better ways of delivering the preventive and treatment tools we already have in those countries where most deaths occur." O'Brien notes that "British-funded malaria programs are already doing this across Africa and Asia," as well as supporting research and development on new prevention and treatment strategies. He concludes, "Getting better delivery as we scale up our efforts is essential now and depends on us learning both from our successes and areas where things are going less well. But today, of all days, it is exciting to see that the promise we made to help substantially reduce the burden of malaria is turning into a reality" (4/24).
- Rear Adm. Tim Ziemer (Ret.), The Hill: "Development programs, like those that work to prevent malaria, are a moral, strategic and economic imperative for the United States," Ziemer, the U.S. global malaria coordinator, writes, adding, "The sustained bipartisan support for global health in the U.S. Congress over two administrations is a testament to the fact that we have been able to demonstrate an incredible return on investment for every dollar spent on saving lives and improving opportunity." He continues, "The health of a nation, especially the health of its children, is the foundation upon which economies are able to grow, and markets for U.S. products are strengthened." Ziemer concludes, "Malaria interventions continue to be one of the best investments in global health, and it is vitally important that we sustain our momentum" to "ensur[e] every child sees his or her fifth birthday" and is able to give back to their families and communities (4/24).