Looking for good news on the road to zero malaria deaths

27 Jan 2014

Malaria World Blog: George Jagoe discusses 3 success stories on the road to zero malaria deaths.

In 2011, RBM revised one of its key objectives for the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP):  it called for reducing “global malaria deaths to near zero by end 2015”. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Robert Newman, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme commented:  “Reducing malaria deaths to near-zero is the right goal, a goal that we need to make every conceivable effort to achieve. But, let us be clear, it is also a wildly ambitious goal.” (1)

The recently released World Malaria Report 2013 shares the encouraging news that deaths from malaria in 2012 continued a positive downward trend: 627.000, a 2% reduction compared to 640.000 in 2011 and a 7% drop since 2010. (2) Yet with less than two years left to reach the goal of zero deaths, the target seen as 'wildly ambitious' in 2011 appears even more elusive today,  an impression corroborated by MalariaWorld readers, 100% of whom said 'no' when asked “will we reach zero deaths by 2015?” (3)

We have a choice as a malaria community. For the next two years, we may question the wisdom of setting a global Zero-Death target for 2015 and we can look for flaws in the aspiration. Or, during the countdown, we can amass evidence from victories along the road to Zero Deaths — examples showing us that indeed, in communities mobilized around this goal, no one needs to die from malaria. Today, we have an ample choice of tools and approaches to slash mortality immediately. Celebrating the work of those who have achieved small-scale wins is instructive and even inspirational — to keep us motivated and focused on the work at hand.

In the end, 'Zero Deaths' worldwide is the aggregation of hundreds of local victories. For now, as a newcomer to MalariaWorld, I’m shining a spotlight on two victory circle winners (one at a district level, the other at a provincial level), and highlighting a third community — an entire nation — that is making major progress on the road to zero. I look forward to tracking more stories like these in 2014-2015, and I would love to hear from those of us who have similar good news to share......

Read the full article on the Malaria World website.



(1) Roll Back Malaria

(2) World Health Organization

(3) Malaria World