On the 2 November 2012 representatives of the countries of the Asia Pacific region formulated a long term goal to eliminate malaria from the region. The Asia Pacific region has been winning the fight against malaria over the last few years, with over half the countries in the region on track to reduce malaria deaths by 75 percent by 2015. However, efforts need to be redoubled as there are pockets of drug resistant malaria in the region.
To achieve this goal, The representatives have agreed five measures to combat the disease. These include:
• The setting up of the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance – a country led group of experts to develop policies to combat drug resistant strands of malaria
• A task force to improve access to the highest quality anti-malarial medication
• A second task force to ensure that members get the right amount of aid to effectively fight malaria
• Increased use of effective malaria interventions in areas where resistance has occurred and in at-risk communities
• Identification and coordination of research projects.
The group believes that these measures will prevent a further 70,000 malaria deaths by the end of 2015 as well as helping to curb the negative effects of the disease on the regional economy and tourist trade. To ensure these objectives are actually achieved, national leaders have pledged to continue to work closely with civil society partners, national health services and the private sector.
Malaria Consortium welcomes this initiative and in particular the positive steps taken to combat and prevent the spread of drug resistant malaria.