FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

WHO credits Roll Back Malaria partnership with worldwide progress

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The World Health Organization (WHO) recently commended the contributions of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership, but recommended disbanding its secretariat based at the WHO's offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

First established in 1998, the RBM partnership was originally created as part of a worldwide effort to stop the spread of malaria. Now the partnership is trying to restructure while maintaining the successes of the last 17 years in order to face new challenges that will be part of the post-2015 era. 

The WHO's governing board recommended disbanding the secretariat because of the restructuring and also because of ongoing financial difficulties.

There has been significant progress made against malaria over the last 17 years, including the prevention of 6 million deaths due to malaria, many of them children younger than 5 years old who live in sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, the partnership's Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which urged for a specifically targeted decrease of malaria by 2015, have been reached.

Malaria is still a major public health concern, however. This year, there have been more than  200 million malaria cases. More than 400,000 people have died from the illness around the world, and more than 3 billion people are considered at risk of malaria infections.

The WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030, a new technical road map for eliminating the disease, was released this spring. Along with the RMB program, the goal is a 90 percent reduction in global malaria incidence and mortality by 2030. 

Global funding will need to triple to reach these targets. To attain these goals, the WHO said new programs need to be put into place to engage key stakeholders, mobilize global action and generate the required financial commitments.

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