Due to the recent success that Zanzibar has achieved in reducing its malaria burden, the Zanzibar Malaria Control Program (ZMCP) is facing an important decision of whether to continue sustaining malaria control or to seek malaria elimination. To reach their decision, the ZMCP conducted an assessment to gauge the feasibility of reaching and sustaining malaria elimination from the operational, technical and financial perspectives. This feasibility assessment resulted in a series of evidence-based recommendations, and is the first robust analysis on the feasibility of elimination, therefore forming a strong foundation from which strategic decisions in Zanzibar can be made.
Many local and international experts provided technical advice to the feasibility assessment. This work benefited from the intellectual leadership of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and many members of the Malaria Elimination Group, with financial support provided by the UCSF Global Health Group through a grant from ExxonMobil.
The final report and recommendations on a way forward were recently presented to the senior leadership of the Zanzibar Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Conclusions on the short- and long-term challenges of achieving and sustaining elimination are outlined as well as strategies that will be critical for elimination to succeed. The ZMCP has already begun implementing several of the recommended strategies, most notably strategies to enhance surveillance capacity, which are paramount for any elimination effort.
More information and resources on malaria elimination can be found at the Malaria Elimination Group website: www.malariaeliminationgroup.org