Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research



21 April 2021 News release
World Malaria Day: WHO launches effort to stamp out malaria in 25 more countries by 2025
Ahead of World Malaria Day, marked annually on 25 April, WHO congratulates the growing number of countries that are approaching, and achieving, zero cases of malaria. A new initiative launched today aims to halt transmission of the disease in 25 more countries by 2025.

Of the 87 countries with malaria, 46 reported fewer than 10 000 cases of the disease in 2019 compared to 26 countries in 2000. By the end of 2020, 24 countries had reported interrupting malaria transmission for 3 years or more. Of these, 11 were certified malaria-free by WHO.

“Many of the countries we are recognizing today carried, at one time, a very high burden of malaria. Their successes were hard-won and came only after decades of concerted action” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Together, they have shown the world that malaria elimination is a viable goal for all countries.”…

New report: “Zeroing in on malaria elimination”
Through the E-2020 initiative, launched in 2017, WHO has supported 21 countries in their efforts to get to zero malaria cases within the 2020 timeline. A new WHO report summarizes progress and lessons learned in these countries over the last 3 years.

According to the report, 8 of the E-2020 member countries reported zero indigenous cases of human malaria by the end of 2020:  Algeria, Belize, Cabo Verde, China, El Salvador, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia and Paraguay.  In Malaysia, the P. knowlesi parasite, normally found in monkeys, infected approximately 2600 people in 2020.

A number of other countries made excellent progress: Timor-Leste reported only 1 indigenous case, while 3 other countries – Bhutan, Costa Rica and Nepal – reported fewer than 100 cases.

Building on the successes of the E-2020, WHO has identified a new group of 25 countries that have the potential to stamp out malaria within a 5-year timeline. Through the E-2025 initiative, launched today, these countries will receive specialized support and technical guidance as they work towards the target of zero malaria…



20 April 2021 Departmental news
RTS,S malaria vaccine reaches more than 650 000 children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi through groundbreaking pilot programme
Malaria vaccine coverage through childhood immunization programme signals strong community demand for vaccine.
Two years on from the launch of a pilot programme, more than 1.7 million doses of the world’s first malaria vaccine have been administered in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, benefitting more than 650 000 children with additional malaria protection.

The number of children reached in this relatively short period indicates strong community demand for the vaccine as well as the capacity of the countries’ child immunization programmes to deliver the vaccine on a novel schedule (4 doses up to about age 2 years).

At a time when global progress in malaria control has stalled, the protection provided by the RTS,S malaria vaccine, when added to currently recommended malaria control interventions, has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives per year.

“Ghana, Kenya and Malawi show that existing childhood vaccination platforms can effectively deliver the malaria vaccine to children, some of whom have not been able to access an insecticide treated bed net or other malaria prevention measures,” says Dr Kate O’Brien, WHO Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals. “This vaccine may be key to making malaria prevention more equitable, and to saving more lives.”

“Over the last 2 decades, we have achieved remarkable results with existing malaria control tools, averting more than 7 million deaths and 1.5 billion cases of the disease,” says Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “However, progress towards key targets of our global malaria strategy remains off course. To get back on track, new tools are urgently needed – and malaria vaccines must be a critical component of the overall toolkit.”…



World Malaria Day : Unitaid commits to ensure increased and equitable access to life-saving tools against malaria
23 April 2021 Unitaid Press Release
Geneva – Ahead of World Malaria Day, marked annually on April 25, Unitaid reaffirms its strong commitment to combat malaria by increasing its efforts to prevent, control, and ultimately eliminate the disease.
The emergence of COVID-19 more than one year ago has thrown health systems into disarray and forced many countries to shift their focus and resources away from malaria. This threatens to reverse hard-won gains, particularly in the highest malaria burden countries where the rate of progress has slowed in recent years.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns countries that disruptions to programmes that prevent and treat malaria could lead to a potential doubling of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 compared to 2018.
A new report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria highlights the urgent need to scale-up the adaptative measures adopted to counter the impact of COVID-19 to ensure the continuing delivery of lifesaving health services for malaria..