WHO at 70: seven decades, seven voices in the global malaria fight

World Malaria Day – 25 April 2018

This year’s World Malaria Day coincides with activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of WHO. The Global Malaria Programme is marking the Day with a series of interviews with leaders and advocates in the global malaria response, as they reflect on key moments in fighting this disease over the past 7 decades.

United for malaria: partnerships and the global response

Dr Kesete Admasu is CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Ethiopia’s former Minister of Health. In this interview, he reflects on the global response to malaria and the critical role of partnerships in driving forward progress in fighting malaria worldwide.

Rear-view mirror: 7 decades of malaria

Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, traces the trajectory of the malaria response over the last 7 decades, from the early years of the Global Malaria Eradication Programme to the unprecedented reductions in cases and deaths since the turn of the century. He reflects on more recent trends that show a plateau in funding and a corresponding slowdown in progress.

Stepping up for malaria

The life-saving tools that have helped achieve dramatic declines in the global malaria burden have made it to market thanks to the investment and engagement of the private sector and philanthropic foundations. In this interview, Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, offers a 360-degree view on why malaria is a top priority for his foundation.

Beating back malaria in Africa: challenges and opportunities

Fifteen countries, all but one in sub-Saharan Africa, together carry 80% of the global malaria burden. In this interview, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, outlines the main roadblocks that African countries are facing and the opportunities that could be leveraged to turn the story around.

A view from the frontlines

Nigeria bears the heaviest burden among malaria-endemic countries. An estimated 9.4 million malaria cases were reported nationwide in 2016, an increase of more than 800 000 cases compared to 2015. In this interview, Dr Lynda Ozor, WHO’s malaria focal point in Abuja, Nigeria, shares what WHO is doing to fight the disease.

From bites to bytes

Dr Arantxa Roca-Feltrer, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation at Malaria Consortium, describes how strong surveillance systems can help a country see who is most affected by malaria and where control tools – like bed nets, diagnostics and medicines – are needed most. She demystifies the process that countries undertake to collect vital bytes that inform policies and save lives.

Behind the microscope: advances in malaria research

Dr Neena Valecha is Director of India's National Institute of Malaria Research. In this interview, she underscores the importance of research in providing the foundation of evidence that is needed to make headway in tackling malaria, and shares her thoughts on the progress achieved in this dynamic field.