We all know that malaria remains a major health issue in sub-Saharan Africa and in many other places around the world. But did you know that after more than a decade of steady advances in fighting malaria, progress has leveled off? According to WHO’s latest World Malaria Report, no significant gains were made in reducing malaria cases in the period 2015 to 2017. The estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017, at 435,000, remained virtually unchanged over the previous year.
Today PSI celebrates World Malaria Day 2019, and we are committed to the urgent action that is needed to get the global response to malaria back on track. PSI is joining the WHO, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the African Union Commission, and other partner organizations in promoting “Zero Malaria Starts With Me”, a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.
There are a number of reasons for the stalled progress in malaria, but one reason is the rise of insecticide resistant mosquitoes in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Through our current malaria programming, PSI is committed to helping to address growing resistance in sub-Saharan Africa by helping countries deliver new classes of insecticide treated nets (ITNs). Through funding from Unitaid and the Global Fund on the New Nets Project, PSI is supporting countries to overcome operational challenges in delivering these new ITNs to those most at risk for malaria and those living in highly resistant areas. PSI is leveraging our other vector control projects, including the PMI Vector Link Project, and decades of ITN market shaping experience, having delivered over 330 million nets in more than 20 countries, to support the activities in the New Nets Project.
The Global Fund’s Executive Director, Peter Sands, recently commented on the New Nets Project and the investment case saying, “By investing in insecticide-treated nets and other tools, the Global Fund partnership has greatly reduced the burden of malaria. This project is a step toward accelerating impact by embracing innovation – with the ultimate goal of malaria elimination.”
On World Malaria Day 2019, PSI, through the New Nets Project, and our broader malaria project portfolio, is committed to working to introduce new approaches and tools that will help reduce the burden of malaria. Please join us in promoting the ‘Zero Malaria Starts With Me’ initiative and supporting needed investment that will help the world meet the 2030 global malaria targets.
Banner image: © 2017 Samy Rakotoniaina / MSH, Courtesy of Photoshare
A woman in Madagascar stands under a bed net to prevent malaria.