The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) met for its fifth annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia from March 4 to 7, 2013. Co-hosted by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, the APMEN V meeting highlighted several key thematic areas, including advancing the global elimination agenda for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, discussing the vital role of robust surveillance systems and interventions, examining new and innovative financing mechanisms for elimination, and renewing the Network’s commitment to supporting collaborative efforts to eliminate malaria in the Asia Pacific region.
Representatives from 13 of APMEN’s 14 Country Partners (Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vanuatu, and new Country Partners Nepal and Vietnam) convened to discuss the specific challenges for malaria elimination in the region. The meeting also included global and regional partner organizations to broaden the expert dialogue around malaria elimination in the Asia Pacific. Attendees shared best-practices and country progress, and highlighted their demonstrated successes, such as Indonesia’s long history of malaria control and declining cases. At the meeting, the Australian Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and AusAID First Assistant Secretary, Policy and Sector Division, Mr James Gilling, noted the Network’s commitment to malaria elimination, and praised ongoing malaria efforts in the Asia Pacific region, specifically the uptake by regional governments of recommendations arising from Malaria 2012: Saving Lives in the Asia-Pacific and the 2012 East Asia Summit.
Preceding the main meeting, a delegation of APMEN Country Partners conducted a site tour to Aceh Province, a region of Indonesia that has experienced great progress towards its subnational elimination goal of 2015. Vice-Governor of Aceh Muzakir Manaf met with the APMEN representatives and expressed the provincial government’s ongoing support for malaria elimination. The delegation also travelled to the Sabang municipality in Aceh province, which has experienced a substantial decrease in cases from 2008 to 2011, with declines in incidence from 3.83 to 0.13 per thousand population, and is on track to achieving malaria elimination by the end of this year.
The APMEN V meeting highlighted the Network’s renewed dedication to malaria elimination by further advancing operational and research agendas, providing a platform for countries to address common challenges, and promoting political commitment to elimination in the Asia Pacific region. Sir Richard Feachem, co-chair of APMEN, commended Country Partners on their collective progress, saying “the 14 APMEN countries have made outstanding progress in the fight against malaria. They’re committed to eliminating malaria in the next few years with their effective programs.”
Further information regarding APMEN can be found at www.apmen.org.