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GLOBAL HEALTH GROUP

About the Malaria Elimination Initiative

The economic, social and human costs of malaria are tremendous. Every year, the disease infects 216 million people worldwide, and over half a million of those people die. The impact on communities can be staggering, stalling worker productivity and decimating family incomes. Since 2000, the global community has invested billions of dollars into a common goal of scaling up malaria control to end deaths in the worst-affected countries. Major progress has been made. Yet the question remains—once malaria is controlled—what next?

Since 2007, the Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative has played a major role in supporting countries along the geographic margins of the disease that are pursuing an evidence-based goal of elimination. When we started, little was known about elimination: Can it be done? Where is it possible? How can we pursue it with the interventions we have today? Today, after four years of intensive research and collaboration, the Global Health Group has made major contributions to address these questions. We are documenting the efforts of the 34 malaria-eliminating countries. We are providing evidence to help countries refine their strategies to be as efficient and effective as possible, access international funding, and pursue research on new tools and approaches that will identify and eliminate the last cases of malaria.

Three-Part Strategy

Since the early 1900s, the world has made great strides in “shrinking the malaria map.” 108 countries have achieved the historic goal of eliminating malaria from within their borders. The Global Health Group seeks to continue this process, advocating for the progressive elimination of malaria, working inwards from the natural geographic margins of the disease. Working with a broad network of partners from around the world, the Malaria Elimination Initiative has helped to articulate a three-part strategy for eventual global eradication of malaria.

Evidence, Documentation, and Support

In just four years, the Global Health Group has become recognized across the global health community as a leader in understanding elimination in today’s environment. Working with the Malaria Elimination Group (MEG)—an international scientific and policy advisory group convened by the Global Health Group—and a dynamic network of partner organizations including national malaria programs, we are pushing the boundaries of understanding, developing new tools, and advocating for greater attention and international support for malaria-eliminating countries. Our achievements include:

  • Partnering with the Clinton Health Access Initiative to establish the Southern Africa Malaria Elimination Support Team (SAMEST), which provides support to national malaria elimination programs in Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland
  • Helping countries raise millions of dollars to pursue their national goals, including more than $70 million in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands; $80 million in China; $17 million in Namibia; and $12 million in Swaziland
  • Working with the World Health Organization, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Johns Hopkins University, Imperial College and others to develop a malaria elimination scenario planning tool that helps countries determine whether elimination is possible, and under what conditions
  • Hosting the only website dedicated to malaria elimination
  • Publishing seminal reports and peer-reviewed papers that advance global understanding and assist policymakers and implementers in malaria-eliminating countries
  • Partnering with the University of Queensland to co-convene the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) to support elimination and malaria research in 11 countries across the region
  • Conducting and stimulating new research on tools and new surveillance strategies to help malaria-eliminating countries identify, treat and eliminate remaining malaria “hot spots”
  • Conducting new research and analysis on the costs and benefits of malaria elimination

Through our collective efforts, current progress is well documented, requirements are much better understood, and new research is underway that will accelerate and increase the effectiveness of elimination efforts on all continents.