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Flexible, Comprehensive Strategy Critical To Eliminating Malaria

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Is malaria elimination within reach?
Editorial Board

“Released on March 24, in ample time for World Malaria Day on April 25, WHO’s A Framework for Malaria Elimination is the first time WHO returns to this significant topic since 2007. Given the launch of this update to the framework it is fitting that the theme for World Malaria Day will ambitiously be ‘End Malaria for Good.’ … Crucially, WHO has avoided a rigid approach to its framework, acknowledging the need for ongoing revision should new tools and strategies emerge. … This flexibility is refreshingly pragmatic and stands a greater chance of success. … Nonetheless, the promotion of a strategy that is not comprehensive does risk saving up problems for the future. To reach the milestones of WHO’s Global Technical Strategy 2016-2030, the pace of progress must be rapidly accelerated. … A notable addition to the framework is the outlining of the requirements for achieving and maintaining malaria elimination. Included among these requirements is a greater emphasis on health systems. If applied with care, this focus on health systems could have broader benefits than on malaria alone. As with any document aimed at policymakers, the aims (i.e., elimination) can seem very ambitious; however, as evident from progress so far, ambition is a strategy that has served the malaria community well” (May 2017).