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.
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.
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:
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.