World Malaria Day 2017: Statement from Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Chief Executive Officer, Roll Back Malaria Partnership

April 25, 2017 – (Geneva, Switzerland)

On World Malaria Day the global community unites to reflect on our progress and the challenges that lie ahead. Since 2000 we have made great strides in curbing the malaria epidemic. Thanks to the mobilization of resources and political will, malaria control and elimination efforts have resulted in nearly 7 million lives saved and over US$2 trillion added to the economies of malaria affected countries. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership, recently revitalized and reinvigorated with new leadership and a new strategic approach has been central to this achievement. It remains pivotal in coordinating and convening partners worldwide to ensure sufficient and accessible resources for countries for malaria control and elimination efforts, and to providing cohesive and effective leadership for the global malaria response.

We are now embarking on a new chapter in the fight against malaria—one that will ultimately see an end to malaria for good.

But the final chapter in the malaria fight could be our most challenging yet. Mobilizing the necessary resources, and addressing the political realities and evolving needs in malaria-affected countries, is a monumental task. To succeed we must adapt.

Continued political and financial commitments from donor and malaria-affected countries will be essential to sustain momentum and drive progress. The ambitious goal of eliminating malaria in 10 additional countries by 2020 is within reach, but requires sustained and enhanced technical focus and collaborative efforts by malaria endemic countries, donor governments, the private sector and communities.

We can accelerate these efforts by increasing investment in research and development of innovative tools that could revolutionize how we detect, treat and prevent malaria – and speed the path to a malaria-free world.

Complacency is not an option when today alone more than 1,100 people, most of them young children under the age of five, will die from malaria - a preventable and treatable disease. The risk of malaria resurgence is all too real. If political commitment weakens, funding wanes or technical challenges go unaddressed. much of the hard-earned gains of the last 16 years could be lost.

A malaria-free world is within our grasp. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership stands prepared to drive momentum forward to ensure that we see a world where the bite of a mosquito no longer poses a threat to anyone, anywhere.

Together we can end malaria for good.