Malaria can be eliminated in Asia Pacific by 2030, according to the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance
 
Apr 26, 2017
Category:
Tags:

Singapore 25 April – On World Malaria Day, the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) affirmed their conviction that malaria can be eliminated in Asia and the Pacific by 2030.

Over the past 15 years, driven by the Millennium Development Goals, Asia and the Pacific countries reduced the number of malaria cases and associated deaths by almost half. Building on this success, leaders in Asia and the Pacific agreed in 2014 on a historic pledge to eliminate Malaria by 2030.

The united effort has been extremely successful in reducing the disease’s impact but eliminating the final case of malaria is critical to sustain what has been achieved. A continued effort from political leaders of all levels will be needed to end the disease once and for all.
“World Malaria Day reminds us that we have an opportunity to work collectively in our own communities, at country level, and across borders to eliminate malaria” said Dr Nafsiah Mboi, Leaders' Envoy and Board Chair for APLMA and former Minister of Health of Indonesia. “We believe that we can win the fight against malaria. However, we must not lose focus in Asia and the Pacific where the malaria burden remains a significant weight on families, communities, national economies and national health systems.”

With 21 malaria-endemic countries accounting for approximately 32 million cases of malaria each year and 47,000 associated deaths, Asia and the Pacific carry the second highest burden of the disease outside of Africa.

The Intense scale-up of interventions in Asia and the Pacific, including greater access to medicines, distribution of bed nets and better screening and diagnosis, has already averted more than 80 million cases and over 100,000 associated deaths since 2000. However, some 2 billion people in the region remain at risk of infection. India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea bear the largest burden of the disease and largest number of people at risk and affected. Together they account for 89% of all remaining malaria cases in the region.

Thanks to ground-breaking drug therapies and a range of preventative and control measures, the number of malaria cases has fallen significantly in recent years in most malaria-endemic countries. But growing drug resistance has raised the potential spectre of rising malaria-related deaths, serious economic impacts and human suffering.

“Drug resistant malaria is a health crisis that could drastically impact the hard-fought success achieved in the fight against this disease” said Dr Benjamin Rolfe, APLMA’s Executive Director. “If the most important treatment for malaria becomes ineffective we will surely see a devastating rise in malaria mortality. Mostly amongst children.”

The goal of achieving an Asia Pacific region that is free of malaria by 2030 is on track – six countries including Malaysia and China are working to eliminate malaria by 2020, with 11 countries by 2025 and the full 22 endemic countries projected to eliminate malaria by 2030.

About APLMA
APLMA is an alliance of 19 Asian and Pacific heads of government, representing over half the world’s population. Formed in 2013 at the East Asia Summit in Brunei due to concerns over the rising risk of drug resistance, the goal of the Alliance is a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030. The Alliance works to catalyse and coordinate regional action against malaria and improve health security in the region.

APLMA activities flow from ‘The Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap’ which outlines six priority actions for defeating malaria:
1. Unite national efforts and regional actions
2. Map, prevent, test and treat the disease, everywhere
3. Ensure high quality malaria services, tests, medicines, nets and insecticides
4. Improve targeting and efficiency to maximize impact
5. Mobilize domestic financing and leverage external support 6. Innovate for elimination

Media Contacts
Christopher Hilton,
Director of Communications
+65 6727 6947
Chilton@aplma.org

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com