Around 40% of the world’s population are at risk from malaria and there are approximately 300 million cases of acute malaria each year. Around 90% of these cases occur in Sub Saharan Africa, where the World Bank estimates that malaria costs more than $12 billion a year in healthcare and lost productivity – approximately the same amount that is provided annually to the region in aid.
This round-table workshop followed up on the meeting Malaria: getting to zero (held in April 2009) and identified progress and next steps in moving from the control to the elimination and eradication of malaria.
As part of these next steps, and looking to the next five years, the workshop discussed new tools, including the potential for a vaccine, update on trials of the candidate RTS,S vaccine, and progress with the development of epidemiological and economic models which will guide the use of any vaccine.
The report provides an overview of presentations and discussions from the three day meeting, with participants balancing the focus on current challenges for malaria control with the opportunities presented by new tools and technologies. Specific discussions focused on the use of new technologies such as the promise of a first malaria vaccine; a renewed focus on surveillance and response; addressing the increased prevalence of insecticide and drug resistance; expanding access to appropriate diagnostics; and, moving away from ‘one-size-fits-all’ malaria programmes and toward more tailored approaches. Calls to action were made for topics including sustainable financing mechanisms for malaria control and elimination; increasing domestic contributions to malaria programmes; harmonising advocacy messages to increase support to malaria control and elimination programmes; and, balancing the use of old and new tools.