By Alena Sims, Communications Associate, PSI
Over the past 15 years, great progress has been made in the global fight against malaria. Since 2000, nearly 60 countries have reduced their malaria cases by 75% or more, and the rate of new cases has decreased by 37% globally. But the journey is far from over.
The World Health Organization recently released a video that highlights such achievements and reviews the new Global Technical Strategy for Malaria that will address remaining gaps. After watching the video, here’s what stuck with us…
The global burden of malaria has decreased greatly over the past 15 years, including a 37% drop in new malaria cases and 60% drop in malaria deaths. The massive scale-up of malaria control tools such as mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic tests, and quality malaria medications are largely to thank for such progress.
Mosquito nets have protected millions from illness and death due to malaria. As one of the world’s largest distributors of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs), PSI has and continues to distribute a quarter of LLINs to malaria endemic countries.
Rapid diagnostic testing has made timely and appropriate treatment available. Using Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) we can ensure that all suspected malaria cases are tested prior to treatment, reducing the risk of artemisinin resistance and providing individuals with appropriate treatment for other illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhea. PSI works to increase the use of RDTs by helping to create an enabling environment for testing in both public and private sectors.
Increased use of Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), the gold standard of malaria treatment, continues to save lives. PSI works to ensure increased access to ACTs with over 11 million courses of ACTs being distributed in 2015 alone.
Despite progress, our journey is far from over. In 2015 alone, more than 400,000 people died of malaria and there were 214 million new cases.
To accelerate action toward elimination, the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria has set out to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 90% in 2030. As one of the biggest implementing organizations in the malaria world, PSI is ready to take part in this challenge. We will continue to leverage our expertise in LLIN distribution, RDT promotion, and ACT distribution and research.
The Global Technical Strategy also calls for elimination of malaria in at least 35 countries. Recently, PSI launched a massive effort aimed at accelerating malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong sub-region, where drug-resistant parasites have emerged.
With all partners united, malaria can be defeated and the health and livelihoods of millions can be transformed. As a major implementing organization within malaria, PSI is ready to work with partners to take part in this challenge.
To view the WHO video and learn more about steps forward in the fight against malaria, watch below.