New report details WHO efforts to eliminate malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion

WWARN-Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network| Mon Dec 12 05:05:27 EST 2016

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report "Eliminating malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion" which offers tried and tested approaches to end the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection across Southeast Asia. The report details major declines in the number of cases and deaths associated with malaria in the region over the past three years. The six countries within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) cut their malaria case incidence by an estimated 54% between 2012 and 2015. Malaria death rates fell by 84% over the same period.

The key objectives from the report include:

With technical support from WHO and partners, all GMS countries have developed malaria elimination action plans. WHO will provide ongoing support for country elimination efforts through the Mekong Malaria Elimination (MME) project.

The region has come very close to eliminating falciparum malaria across the region. However, as the case load decreases, the threat of further resistance to artemisinin derivatives and other partner drugs grows. Further emergence or spread of antimalarial drug resistance in the region could potentially undermine the recent gains made against the disease.

In view of the rapidly changing malaria landscape, WHO’s Malaria Policy and Advisory Committee (MPAC), a group of leading malaria experts, agreed in 2014 that there was only one way forward: eliminating the disease altogether from the subregion.

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