Gates Foundation Malaria Forum - Day 3
This following is an excerpt from a post that originally appeared on the Malaria No More Policy Center blog.
Yesterday, the Gates Malaria Forum concluded with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, describing the substantial progress that has been made in achieving the goal of zero malaria deaths by 2015.
Key highlights from Wednesday’s Forum:
- According to Mr. Chambers, a great deal has been accomplished in the past four years since the previous Forum. From 2007 to today, over 400 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been distributed. Over 300 million artemisinin-combination therapies will be delivered this year. Partnerships from the entertainment, sports, and pharmaceuticals worlds helped to draw attention to and address many of the challenges in accomplishing these goals.
- The UN Special Envoy affirmed his belief that there is a very good chance that deaths could drop below 100,000 in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2015. He noted that the previous Forum’s goals kept the malaria policy makers, scientists, and health workers focused on the task. In the future, he sees the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) and African leadership in general playing a bigger role in funding and carrying out the fight. According to Mr. Chambers, the world is already seeing dividends beyond what were expected from ALMA.
- An earlier session in the day focused on one of the biggest new challenges in the malaria fight: artemisinin drug resistance. Within the past decade, resistance to one of the principle treatments for P. falciparum malaria, artemsinin, appeared at the Thai-Cambodia border. Efforts to tackle the problem before it became larger showed a reduction in malaria cases, but new diagnostic tools and drugs are needed to continue to combat the problem. Also, an understanding of the role of the informal, private sector – drug sellers often operating outside of well-regulated channels – is needed, according to Chris White, Technical Advisor-Asia with Population Services International.
Ray Chambers ended his speech with a call for new ideas to engage civil society in eliminating malaria. He mentioned the efforts of Malaria No More, Nothing But Nets, the United Methodist Church, and others in bringing their resources to the fight. David Brandling Bennett, Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ended the Forum by asking an important question to the attendees. If so much has been accomplished in the last four years since the first Forum, what will be the accomplishments after this one?
Read the original post here, Day 1 highlights here and Day 2 highlights here.