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PATH staff will be reporting from Zambia, meeting with politicians in Europe, and briefing members of Congress this week as part of a global campaign to address malaria. April 25, 2009, is the second annual World Malaria Day, marking the effort to control malaria and reduce the toll it takes on individuals, families, and economies in endemic regions. PATH is observing the day with a full week of activities. Please check back throughout the week for news and updates.

“Counting malaria out” in Zambia

The Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) at PATH will be involved in a range of activities in Zambia and beyond. Together with our partners and in the spirit of “Counting Malaria Out”—this year’s World Malaria Day theme—we will reflect on successes in the fight against malaria and the challenges that still exist. We will look at what lies ahead for countries that are working to drastically reduce the health and economic impact of malaria to achieve global goals.

We’ll be reporting on the activities through a special edition of our electronic newsletter, MACEPA News, and in a multimedia diary.

Learn more:

Advocating for a malaria vaccine

Leaders of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) will be in the United States and France to participate in important discussions about malaria.

Christian Loucq, director of MVI, will attend a reception hosted by Global Health Progress and ONE to honor a delegation of African health leaders in Washington, DC. The event, entitled “Sustaining Health Progress through Partnerships,” will feature a special tribute from the delegation to former US President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center for pioneering contributions to fight neglected tropical diseases in Africa. Discussions will focus on strategies to sustain the recent gains in US global health commitments while developing new partnership models to address Africa’s disease burden and critical health challenges.

Also in Washington, DC, MVI will co-sponsor a US Congressional briefing entitled “World Malaria Day 2009: New Tools in the Fight against Malaria.” The briefing will discuss exciting advances in malaria diagnostics, treatment, and vaccine development. Partners include the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, the Global Health Council, and Medicines for Malaria Venture.

In Strasbourg, France, Sally Ethelston, MVI director of communications and advocacy, will speak at a working lunch organized by French politician Thierry Cornillet, a member of the European Parliament. Sally will highlight the call for better coordination and collaboration from financial donors to develop a vaccine capable of delivering a “final knockout punch” to malaria.

Learn more:

More about World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day is organized by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), comprised of more than 500 partners committed to providing a global response to the disease. This year, RBM kick-starts its “counting malaria out” campaign to intensify global efforts to reach the first important malaria milestone by 2010 and to strengthen systems in malaria-endemic countries for sustained malaria control and elimination. The campaign calls on endemic countries, RBM partners, and donors to put extra efforts into comprehensively tracking progress along the way to universal coverage of malaria-fighting tools by 2010, near-zero deaths by 2015, and the gradual elimination of malaria.

For more information, visit the World Malaria Day website.

Posted April 22, 2009.