World Malaria Day 25th April 2013

The All-Party Parliamentary Malaria Group marked World Malaria Day with an event in the House of Commons

Amongst the many contributions the following people said:

Jeremy Lefroy MP, Chairman of the APPMG, said that “Malaria remains a leading cause of death amongst young children. It is preventable and curable. In spite of progress about half the world’s population still live in Malaria risk areas.”

“Global targets for reducing the Malaria burden will not be reached unless progress is accelerated in the highest risk countries. These countries are in a precarious situation and most of them need urgent financial assistance to procure and distribute life-saving tools and equipment.”
Dr Robert Newman, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

Remarkable progress has been made in combating Malaria and other infectious diseases over the past decade. However, one of the key lessons other infectious disease control has shown is that when there is an opportunity to control the spread of disease, it must be taken. Therefore World Malaria Day 2013 is the time for the malaria community to regroup, re-energise and look ahead to “invest in the future: defeat malaria”.

“As a leading global agency working in Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases and child health, the Malaria Consortium can point to some impressive achievements in disease control, increased effectiveness of interventions and improved access to health services. However, on this World Malaria Day there are still many challenges facing Malaria control such as drug and insecticide resistance, access to good quality healthcare in the community and under investment in endemic countries. Solutions to these issues are achievable and by working together we can defeat malaria.”
Charles Nelson, Chief Executive, Malaria Consortium.

“With every World Malaria Day we edge closer to universal control and the ultimate eradication of Malaria.
“Since 2000, the Malaria landscape has changed considerably and malaria deaths have fallen by 35%, with long-term commitment from far-sighted supporters like UK DFID. More bed-nets, insecticides, diagnostics and ACTs are being used; and innovative, targeted antimalarials are being discovered, developed and delivered for under-served populations. But these gains are fragile. To win the war against Malaria, sustained funding is imperative. At Medicines for Malaria Venture we are committed to reducing to zero deaths from Malaria by our relentless research into new medicines for this deadly disease.”
Dr Tim Wells, Chief Scientific Officer, Medicines for Malaria Venture.

“Vaccines have a well-established record of controlling and eliminating infectious diseases in a variety of settings, yet are missing tools in the fight against Malaria. Despite the dramatic progress made over the past decade using the tools we have in hand, hundreds of thousands of young children still continue to die–particularly in Africa–and hundreds of millions of people still suffer world-wide. The prospects of prevailing over this parasite have never looked brighter, but the Malaria community needs every tool we can muster to get there. This will take continued political and financial support for Malaria programmes on the ground—and for research and development worldwide.”
Dr. David C. Kaslow, Director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.

“Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria are transforming the way that antimalarial treatment can be targeted at those who actually have malaria, thereby reducing the inappropriate use of antimalarials. For them to fulfil their potential, it is essential that there is adequate and sustained financial support to ensure reliable supplies of tests and drugs, as well as the supportive interventions that are critical for their successful implementation including behaviour change communication, monitoring and evaluation, and the tools to manage those who have a negative test.”
Dr Shunmay Yeung, Deputy Director of the ACT Consortium, Senior Lecturer, LSHTM

Pauline Latham MP said “sustained progress must be maintained to eliminate Malaria . We have experienced past resurgences, Malaria could re-occur if efforts fail due to increasing resistance to drugs and insecticides. A shortfall in funding could seriously hamper progress in its control. It cannot be emphasised too strongly that with sustained international political and financial will malaria could be eliminated thereby giving millions a new healthy life.”