Multi-Sectoral, Focused Approach Critical To Preventing Drug-Resistant Malaria From Spreading

Scientific American: We Need to Stop Drug-Resistant Malaria at Its Source, Right Now
Colin Ohrt, founding director of Consortium for Health Action

“Global investments in malaria control and elimination are now at risk of being rapidly reversed. … Despite large investments and recent success in driving down overall rates of malaria, high levels of resistance to nearly all antimalarial drugs are now widespread in Cambodia, the main source of drug-resistant strains previously. … Incurable malaria spreading from this region is a real and present threat that must be stopped. … We call on all stakeholders — specifically, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund, the [President’s] Malaria Initiative, the World Health Organization and importantly, the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy — to urgently take corrective action to address this critical challenge. If the few key organizations could commit to effectively implementing a straightforward multi-sectoral approach, the WHO’s goal of eliminating multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria from Southeast Asia near the 2020 target can be achieved. The alternative — continued poor quality implementation, wasteful spending, and investigator-oriented research — will mean that the nearly incurable and still evolving parasites will reach Africa, with the potential to start the next global pandemic” (1/31).