Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitos. Despite being preventable and curable in 2016 there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, an increase of 5 million cases over 2015. Malaria deaths reached 445,000 in 2016.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (APPMG) exists to give the opportunity to Parliamentarians in Westminster and those working in the field of malaria control to understand how malaria is affecting millions of people around the globe vulnerable to malaria. It monitors developments and progress in control methods, looks at new research into drugs, diagnostic methods, vaccines and insecticides, hears about different countries control programmes, and new ideas and developments are explored.
The APPMG regularly invites the highest level of speakers to address the Group. Its primary audience is Parliamentarians in Westminster but those who are engaged in the work of controlling malaria and or neglected tropical diseases regularly participate in the meetings.
Each year the APPMG published a Malaria Report reflecting on the work of the group and exploring the trends within global malaria work.
The WHO African Region carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden, and therefore this is often the focus area of the APPMG. In 2016, the region was home to 90% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths.
Another focus issue for the APPMG is that of antimalarial resistance. As of March 2017, artemisinin resistance has been confirmed in 5 countries of the Greater Mekong Sub region. There is a real risk that multidrug resistance will soon emerge in other parts of the region. The geographic scope of the problem could widen quickly and have dire public health consequences. Specifically, resistance has been growing to artemisinin-based combination therapy drugs (ACTs). Artemisinin is the core compound of the best available antimalarial drugs, and resistance to this drug is where the real threat from malaria lies.
The UK Government is a global leader in tackling malaria both through research and development, and on the ground relief. Since 2011, the Department for International Development (DFID) has distributed 49.7 million long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets – saving up to 808,000 lives. In September 2016, the then International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced the UK pledge of £1.1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria over the next 3 years. UK funded research that supported the development of child-friendly malaria drugs has now been used for 300 million treatments in malaria-endemic countries.
For more general and specific resources on malaria see: