Partnerships hold the key

Africa Malaria Day 2007

25 Apr 2007

In 2000 African heads of state met in Abuja, Nigeria and pledged to halve the mortality from malaria by 2010. Today, we are finally beginning to see some promising results.

Malaria is now higher up the priority list with donor governments who are working with bilateral and multilateral organizations to help achieve the Abuja Declaration. The private sector, too, is becoming more committed to Africa and contributing its business strengths and core competencies to support the fight. The world is joining fight with disease endemic countries burdened by the disease whose leadership is indispensable.

Today, there is renewed emphasis on partnerships, the need for political will, and significant new resources to combat this dreaded disease. These efforts need to be well-targeted and well-coordinated to make a significant impact.

It is now widely held that an integrated approach is critical to vanquish malaria. Delivering effective drugs is as important as deploying effective prevention measures such as bed nets and existing treatments.

Research and development of new medicines is a vital investment in the future. And public-private product development partnerships are seen as one of the most efficient ways forward in this area.

MMV takes pride in its robust pipeline of new antimalarial drugs. Combining the best of academic innovation and pharmaceutical sector expertise, MMV is managing over 30 projects, the largest portfolio of antimalarial drugs in history. Four new artemisinin combination therapies could be approved for use within the next two years.

We know malaria is preventable and curable: To defeat it, however, will take a massive all-out collaborative effort from both the international community and endemic-country organizations.

We are seven years into a global commitment to fight malaria yet a child continues to die of malaria every 30 seconds in sub-Saharan Africa. Desperate mothers continue to give their sick children medicines that no longer work, as often these are the only ones available. This is unacceptable.

This Africa Malaria Day 2007 MMV renews its pledge to discover, develop and deliver new effective and affordable antimalarials.