The report notes that while 11 of the most endemic countries have reported a decrease of at least 50% in malaria cases between 2000-09, reducing illness, improving survival enhancing businesses and stimulating economies, this success remains fragile and further investment is required to consolidate and expand early gains.
Speaking on the launch of the report, APPG Chair Jeremy Lefroy MP said, “We will not be satisfied until every home at risk from malaria has sufficient mosquito nets. It is totally unacceptable that 800,000 per year are still dying of malaria. Research for drugs, diagnostics and vaccines needs to be not only maintained but increased. It is only a matter of time before the versatile malaria parasite develops resistance to the drugs which are currently so effective.”
A strong level of collaboration between academics, implementers, pharmaceuticals and civil society are demonstrated through the outputs of the APPG over the last year. Innovative models of sustainable delivery for malaria interventions are profiled, like the SuNMaP programme in Nigeria, which is being funded by DFID and managed by Malaria Consortium using mixed models of delivery for insecticide treated nets.
A trip to Uganda undertaken byJeremy Lefroy and secretary of the APPG Pauline Latham with Malaria Consortium in January is featured in the report and demonstrates just how delicate gains in malaria progress can be when not bolstered by sustained financing. In the area visited by the MPs there was a dramacitally reduced incidence of malaria thanks to a successful net distribution and behaviour change communication project, however this success was tempered by regular drug stock outs at the district health facility.
Finally, the report encourages donors to renew their commitment to the fight against malaria – a fight that can be won. Current 2011 funding commitments to tackle the disease amount to just one third of the estimated annual resources needed. Bilateral and multilateral support must continue both to organisations investing in malaria control today and to those investing in research to prepare for tomorrow, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Health Organisation, World Bank, UNICEF, Roll Back Malaria Partnership and others.
The report finishes by making some key recommendations to donors to recognise the significant contribution that effective malaria control can make to achieving progress on global heath and poverty reduction under Millennium Development Goals 1, 4, 5 and 6.