From the launch of innovative tools that will transform how we prevent, test, treat and track malaria, to new partnerships driving impact in novel ways, it has been an incredible year of progress in efforts to reduce the burden of, and eventually eradicate, malaria. These are a few moments we are particularly proud of.
The world’s first malaria vaccine
Lusitana of Malawi became the first child to receive the world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S, through routine immunization. Lusitana is one of an estimated 1 million children who will receive this vaccine through a phased introduction in areas of Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya. Partners in the phased introduction include the ministries of health in each of the three participating countries, the World Health Organization, PATH, and GSK. The information learned will inform decisions about possible wider use of the vaccine as a complement to currently-used malaria interventions.
Access to better tools for treating vivax malaria
The STANDARD™ G6PD diagnostic test achieved provisional approval by the Expert Review Panel for Diagnostics (ERPD), which enables procurement with Global Fund and Unitaid funds. Point-of-care diagnostics for G6PD deficiency play a critical role in supporting appropriate treatment of Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) malaria. PATH is working with partners, such as SD Biosensor, to develop and bring to market a portfolio of diagnostic tests for G6PD deficiency to help guide appropriate clinical care and support for P. vivax malaria.
PATH partnered closely with the staff from the national malaria programs in multiple countries to design introduction plans for safe radical cure tools for P. vivax malaria. These efforts are part of the VivAccess project agenda to increase access to a suite of tools to accelerate elimination of P. vivax malaria.
New partnerships to accelerate cross border collaboration
In Keur Ayib, Senegal, Mr. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Minister of Health, Senegal (left) and Mr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health, The Gambia (right) launched the first-ever joint distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) between the two countries. More than 11 million LLINs were distributed across Senegal and The Gambia. Keur Ayib is a great illustration of a locality where borders do not matter – populations access healthcare in both countries, depending on which health facility is closest to them.
Trained community health workers in hard-to-reach places
Community health workers like Alex (left) are trained and equipped to serve their home areas with lifesaving malaria services (and respiratory infection and diarrhea). This has improved his community’s access to health care and reduced malaria transmission. In 2019, PATH coordinated with the national malaria program and partners to train nearly 4,000 CHWs
Expanding partnerships with Rotarian Malaria Partners in Zambia
The Rotarian Malaria Partners (RMP) sent a delegation to visit the National Malaria Elimination Centre in Lusaka, Zambia, to learn about ongoing activities and explore opportunities for partnership. Rotarians have partnered with PATH and are supporting the training and equipping of 301 community health workers in two districts with the resources to pursue and kill the malaria parasite in their home areas.
Launch of new partnerships extending care into communities
In partnership with the Bayer Cares Foundation, PATH launched of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign in Tambacounda, Senegal. This project will support malaria community champions who will work hand-in-hand with health posts, medical district and regional officials to expand malaria burden reduction efforts in Tambacounda farming communities.
Combatting outbreaks during natural disasters
Cyclone Idai made landfall in the city of Beira, Mozambique bringing severe rains and floods that swept away everything—homes, belongings, and of course, malaria commodities such as insecticide treated nets. The majority of local health centers were damaged or destroyed, medical supplies were lost, and supply chains were cut off in areas with high malaria burden. In partnership with the Brazilian and South African Army, the National Malaria Control Program, and the international disaster response community, PATH staff supported efforts to ensure malaria prevention activities were included in the disaster response plan.
New insights celebrating progress in Ethiopia
In advance of this year’s Malaria Endgame Keystone Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, PATH partnered with the Federal Ministry of Health to produce a report reflecting on the country’s journey toward malaria elimination. The report lays out how a malaria-free Ethiopia is now within reach, but achieving this goal will require sustained funding and appropriately targeting interventions.
New focus on pregnant women, infants, and children
The World Malaria Report 2019 cited only marginal progress in our efforts to end malaria. However, for the first time, the report featured data on the impact of malaria on pregnant women and children. This addition makes clear what we have long known – malaria burden reduction and elimination efforts need to prioritize pregnant women and children.