Global Britain in the Fight against Malaria and NTDs: Annual Report 2016-2017

Chair’s Report

Over the past 15 years, unprecedented progress has been made across malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Deaths from malaria have come down by 62% over the term of the Millennium Development Goals (2000- 2015), and 29% between 2010 and 2015. Since 2000, 17 countries have seen malaria eliminated, and it is estimated that 6.8 million deaths from malaria have been prevented.

Over the last 10 years of work fighting NTDs, mass drug administration (MDA) has supported prevalence reductions in onchocerciasis (50%) and schistosomiasis (30%). More than 16 million leprosy patients have been treated over the last 20 years, preventing resurgence is a key challenge. In 2016 alone, one billion people were treated for neglected tropical diseases, making it the world’s largest public health programme. There is great hope that at least five of the 20 WHO-listed NTDs could be eliminated in the next few years, in addition to significant gains being made across a further six NTDs. However, there is also an equal number of NTDs where progress has been minimal, stalled or even losing ground, especially for vector-borne and zoonotic diseases.

Progress to date against both malaria and NTDs has been the result of extensive collaboration between individual countries, WHO, NGOs, research institutions and the private sector However, the recent 2017 WHO World Malaria Report highlights a grave concern. In 2016, five million more cases of malaria were reported compared to 2015 after years of decline in new cases. There is serious concern that malaria progress has stalled. Funding for malaria has plateaued since 2010. We urgently need to see more money committed both by countries where malaria is endemic and international donors.

The September 2016 UN High Level Panel report on Access to Medicines highlighted the urgent need to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Anti-malarial resistance arising out of the Greater Mekong Subregion is a pressing and urgent concern. Considerable research is taking place into new malaria drugs, insecticides, diagnostics and vaccines. In addition, the first malaria vaccine – GSK’s RTS,S – has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for piloting in three countries. We are also seeing more work being done to tackle malaria in areas which are harder to reach, such as the Sahel where seasonal malaria is prevented through mass drug administration.

Read the full report here: APPMG Annual Report 2017_FINAL