The Revitalised Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Marks a Momentous 2016 and Looks Forward to Maintaining Momentum in 2017

The World Health Organization’s 2016 World Malaria Report launched on 13 December, highlighted the continued progress in the malaria fight, particularly for the most vulnerable. Since 2000, malaria deaths rates have fallen by more than 62 percent – and by 69 percent among children under 5 – saving 6.8 million lives. In the same period, 17 countries have successfully eliminated malaria entirely. The 2020 target of eliminating malaria in 10 more countries is within reach.

However, the report also highlighted the resources required to sustain this progress and with a child still dying every two minutes from this preventable, treatable disease, the fight is far from over and the contribution the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership needs to make has never been more important.

We have made tremendous progress in 2016 as we transform the Partnership and to ensure it is fit for purpose to lead the fight in this new era. We have worked together to create a new Partnership capable of mobilizing the necessary resources for the global malaria response, advocating for malaria to sustain political will and coordinating support to affected countries and facilitating communication across partners and the global community to lead the global fight to end malaria for good.

Our achievements to date have included:

  • Recruitment and selection of a new Partnership Board and Board Leadership with the skills, experience and expertise to take the Partnership forward into the new era.
  • Approval of new RBM Bye-Laws to provide revised guiding governing principles for the Partnership moving forward.
  • Selection of UNOPS as RBM’s new hosting organization to provide a new legal status and effective supporting infrastructure.
  • The design of a new more focused, flexible and efficient management team structure to ensure we focus and coordinate resources on where they are needed most.
  • Convening of new Partnership Committees and their leadership with a growing list of over 200 members from across the Partnership to effectively coordinate work in the critical areas of advocacy and resource mobilization, country / regional support and strategic communications.
  • Identification of new sources of funding to support the vital work of the Partnership globally.
  • Continuation of critical work delivered by dedicated partners to ensure that the Partnership maintains its active coordinated support to countries in malaria affected countries.

The 4th RBM Partnership Board meeting on 15/16 December 2017 maintained this exceptional progress. Decisions included the approval of new female Board members to fill the two vacant seats on the RBM Partnership Board, including representation from the Americas, approval of a provisional 2017 budget and arrangements to ensure transparent governance and effective finance and risk management. The Board also identified an individual for the role of RBM CEO (subject to contract) expected to commence work in Q1 of 2017, as well as a target recruitment profile to swiftly establish a fully functioning permanent management team.

The Board also reviewed emerging priorities and plans for 2017 from the newly established Partner Committees to ensure that the Board remain externally focused on the core areas of work that will help us lead the global fight to end malaria together with the direct engagement of all interested malaria partners.

It is an extremely exciting time for RBM and as we move forward to 2017 with strength and purpose. I am incredibly grateful for the active support and engagement from across the Partnership during this transformation process and I more confident than ever of the contribution we can make in achieving our shared vision of a malaria free world.

Board Chair Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho