To Continue Progress Against Malaria, International Community Must Adjust Approaches To Keep Up With Changing Landscape Of Disease

“[A]s the world commemorated the sixth annual World Malaria Day [on April 25], I was struck by the tremendous progress we have made against this disease — progress that, at the outset, many would have thought impossible,” Kent Campbell, director of the malaria control program at PATH, writes in the  Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog. Noting “[m]alaria mortality rates in Africa have decreased by one-third and more than one million lives have been saved over the last decade,” he says “eliminating malaria in Africa is a real possibility.” He continues, “To succeed, however, the global malaria community must recognize that our mission, and what it demands of us, has changed. Now we need to work together and bring every tool we have — our communities, technologies, talent, and commitment — to reach our goal.”

“Lessons learned in our ongoing battles to eradicate polio and guinea worm have taught us that there can be no treading water when it comes to fighting malaria — we must keep pushing the envelope or risk losing the progress we have made,” Campbell states. “So, what will it take to eliminate malaria in Africa?” he asks, writing, “We must continue to expand our work to control the disease in the areas with the highest burden, while working to stop transmission altogether in areas where the parasite is losing its foothold.” He continues, “As our goals change, we’ll need to develop new ways of measuring success,” and concludes, “We cannot continue to use the same approaches to fight an evolving battle. We have good reason to be optimistic and aggressive in our approach — and must be as smart and adaptive as the malaria parasite itself to achieve our ultimate goal: a world free from malaria” (5/3).

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