A decade of partnership and results

30 Sep 2011

RBM Progress and Impact Series

A Decade of Partnership and Results demonstrates the dramatic successes achieved by the malaria community over the past 10 years. As a result of greater commitment and increased resources being made available to national malaria control programmes, interventions have reached vulnerable populations and thousands of lives have been saved. The report details the evolution and effectiveness of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership over the years, demonstrating how a strong, well-organized community can help deliver broad health benefits while relieving overburdened health systems.

Leading the way to success
Since its inception, the RBM Partnership has evolved into a robust platform for discussions and harmonization of partners' goals and actions in malaria programming, resourcing and advocacy, bringing together a broad network of national, regional and global partners. This strong, united partnership has supported country leadership and national health systems leveraging data to inform decision-making, integrating malaria control activities into existing health systems and ensuring malaria remains a priority on the global health agenda to help secure long-term funding and political commitment. Through collaborative advocacy efforts, partners have helped increase funding for malaria 10-fold during the past 10 years, reaching US$ 1.5 billion in 2010. This dramatic rise in funding helped transform the malaria landscape, making universal coverage with proven interventions an achievable goal for many countries.

Impacting human lives
Many countries have rapidly scaled up their malaria control efforts and have demonstrated significant impact. Survey results, routine health information and monitoring studies have shown consistently fewer malaria cases and less anemia, severe disease and deaths. Reductions in disease burden have occurred in every malaria-endemic region in the world, including Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. Approximately half of the malariaendemic countries in these regions have been able to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 50% or more. Three countries—Morocco, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates—have been certified by the WHO as having eliminated malaria. And in Africa, where the vast majority of malaria cases and deaths occur, the results have been even more dramatic: between the year 2000 and the launch of this report, an estimated 1.1 million African children's lives were saved from the disease.

Improving health systems
Since 2000, major changes have taken place in every aspect of malaria control. Policies to fight malaria now provide for universal coverage of proven prevention tools and embrace the strategy laid out in the Global Malaria Action Plan. Insecticide-treated bednets are now long-lasting, use of indoor residual spraying has been expanded beyond urban areas, prevention in pregnancy is reaching more women through antenatal clinics, rapid diagnostic tests have been approved for widescale use and effective treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies is now widely available. Systems for monitoring programme action and progress have been strengthened and the timeliness and quality of information being collected has greatly improved.

Looking to the future
Efforts to fight malaria control are more successful than ever, but the gains that have been made in the past decade are still fragile. Continued success requires building on what works, rapidly anticipating the need for and developing new strategies and tools, addressing threats head on and ensuring that successful investments are not lost due to competing global priorities. The malaria parasite is a strong opponent and without continued funding and political commitment, the world runs the risk of losing the progress made to date. Next steps will require careful examination of existing and new strategies and tools to further reduce malaria transmission and put countries on the path to eliminating the disease.