The author declares that he has no competing interests.
Progress in malaria control over the past decade has been striking, with malaria mortality rates falling by approximately one quarter globally and more than a third in the World Health Organization African Region. In the accompanying paper, Cohen et al. demonstrate the potential fragility of these gains, comprehensively describing malaria resurgences that have occurred over the past 80 or so years. They found that the vast majority of resurgences were due, at least in part, to the weakening of malaria control programmes; resource constraints were the most commonly identified factor. Their findings are timely and compelling, demonstrating that global efforts will be wasted if the required resources are not secured to achieve and maintain universal access to life-saving malaria prevention and control tools. The greatest threats to current malaria control efforts are not biological, but financial. The increases in funding for malaria over the past decade, while impressive, still fall far short of the nearly $6 billion dollars required annually. Domestic spending by endemic country governments on malaria specifically, and health more generally, could go a long way towards filling the projected funding gap. However, external funding is also essential, and the global community needs to work together to ensure full funding of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which has been the single largest source of malaria funding over the past decade. This year, on April 25th, World Malaria Day will be celebrated with the theme Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria. The review by Cohen et al. suggests one possible future if such investment is not made. However, with sufficient support, malaria resurgences can be relegated to history.
WHO: World Malaria Report 2011. 2011, World Health Organization, Geneva
WHO: Global Plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment. 2011, World Health Organization, Geneva
WHO: Global Plan for Insecticide Resistance Management in malaria vectors. World Health Organization, Geneva, In Press
RBM: Global Malaria Action Plan. 2008, Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Geneva
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Operational Policy Note: Continuity of Services. July 2011 ( http://www.theglobalfund.org/documents/core/manuals/Core_ContinuityOfServices_Note_en)
- Relegating malaria resurgences to history
Robert D Newman
- BioMed Central
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