Ahead of World Malaria Day on 25th April 2020, Global Network of Civil Society for Malaria Elimination (CS4ME), Global Fund Advocates Network Asia-Pacific (GFAN AP) and the Regional Malaria CSO Platform (GMS) release a joint statement expressing grave concern that malaria elimination would not be reached by 2030 given the current trajectory as the rate of progress globally towards malaria elimination has slowed down in recent years.
Malaria remains a major threat in the Asia-Pacific region, with drug resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) threatening to undo gains in every other part of the world, and where India, the other other country outside of Sub-Saharan Africa carry together 85% of the global malaria burden.
Malaria affects poor and vulnerable communities of pregnant women; infants and children; and mobile, migrant, internally displaced and ethnic communities in malaria-endemic areas disproportionately. The very same communities and populations that may not have equitable access to quality prevention, diagnostics and treatment services and care in the first place.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also endangering the work and safety of 30,000 community healthcare workers alone in the GMS, disrupting further service and prevention provisions. Strong and resilient health systems should be in place to combat health needs of every individual holistically, which is more important than ever as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic – the need for continued investments in health and continuing to finance community-led and -owned responses is more important than ever to ensure that we reach Universal Health Coverage and Leave No One Behind.
For more materials during this World Malaria Day, please access the World Health Organisation webpage here, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria Advocacy and Communications Toolkit for World Malaria Day 2020 is available here.