Lessons learned from fifteen years of responding to malaria globally: a prototype for sustainable development

Lessons learned from fifteen years of responding to malaria globally: a prototype for sustainable development

The world has reached a critical juncture in the fight against malaria. There is both an opportunity and an urgent need to accelerate progress towards global development goals by reducing malaria cases and related deaths in all countries, by increasing the number of malaria-free countries, territories and areas, and by identifying approaches that aim to reduce transmission.
 
Efforts to prevent and control malaria both contribute to and benefit from sustainable development. The objectives of reducing the disease burden and eliminating malaria are intrinsically linked to most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they were to nearly all of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDGs recognize that many of the challenges facing the global community transcend national borders, and implicitly call upon countries to work together for the global public good. Continued progress in the fight against malaria will depend on the ability to work together, building inclusive partnerships within and across boundaries and development silos to address inequalities everywhere, and promote dignity and prosperity for all mankind.
 
Forward thinking for the global response to malaria will be largely shaped by two newly adopted
strategy documents, which share the same 2030 malaria goals, and have been aligned to the 2016–
2030 timeline of the SDGs:
 
  • in May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030, to guide the further reduction and elimination of malaria. The strategy sets ambitious yet feasible global targets, including a further 90% reduction in malaria incidence and mortality rates by the year 2030
  • action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016–2030 (AIM) – for a malaria-free world builds on the success of the first Global Malaria Action Plan and complements the Technical Strategy by positioning malaria in the broader health and development agenda. It serves as both a clarion call and a guide for advocacy and collective action for all those engaged in the fight against malaria. Developed and adopted by the RBM Partnership in 2015, AIM is the result of an extensive, multisectoral consultative process
The global malaria story of the past two decades is a remarkable prototype for a sustainable development approach. Malaria is both a result and a cause of a lack of development. The malaria burden is highest in the countries with the lowest human development; in the least developed and poorest areas within countries; and among the most disadvantaged within populations.
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