In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, over the last 12 months we continued to deliver projects and, in some cases, significantly expand our work, ensuring communities were supported and receiving essential health services, undertaking ground-breaking research and helping to further build the resilience of health systems. Beyond our work, 2021 was a year of highs and lows in global public health. Exciting news of a World Health Organization-recommended malaria vaccine going some small way to soften the effects of severe cuts to UK-aid funded programmes and worrying warnings coming out of COP26.
We’ve sought to bring you blogs that share our learnings, opinions and commentary on the most prominent moments relating to our work. Take a look at some of our highlights, as we share our top five most viewed blog posts from last year.
In January, we wrote about the near eradication of polio, which due to sustained global effort, a safe, effective vaccine and the political will to beat it, only remains in three countries worldwide: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. We compared this to the efforts to eradicate malaria, examining the challenges countries face in ongoing malaria elimination efforts.
March 2021 marked one year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We shared an overview of our seasonal malaria chemoprevention programme, giving a rundown of the adaptations we had made to carry out this life-saving intervention through the pandemic, whilst keeping our implementers safe from COVID-19.
In April, to mark World Malaria Day, we collaborated with Imperial College Malaria Network to write about how accurate, affordable diagnostics are key in reducing malaria instances and averting deaths. In the blog, we talked about some of the exciting innovations made in digital diagnostics to help beat the disease and the power of inter-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships to find new ways to tackle the evolving challenges of diagnosing, treating and preventing malaria.
Another popular World Malaria Day contribution was our Q&A with Oluwatosin Ajibade, who had recently completed a secondment to Nigeria’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) as part of Malaria Consortium’s SuNMaP 2 programme. In the blog, we discussed some of his observations during the pandemic, and the need for strong data and surveillance to target malaria interventions effectively.
Rounding off our top five, this blog reflected on the impact of UK-Nigeria foreign policy following the UK Government’s release of the Integrated Review. It explored the relationship between the UK and Nigeria following the UK foreign aid budget cuts, and global challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of withdrawal of malaria funding on Nigeria’s population and potential.
That’s it for our 2021! To keep up to date with our work, you can sign up to our newsletters.