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New from MESA: Critical global gathering "Innovate for Collective Impact to End Malaria"

January 10, 2019 - 18:02 -- MESA Alliance

MESA co-hosting a critical global gathering in response to the latest disease reality and future innovation and financing needs

The MESA Alliance is set to co-host an invite-only scientific symposium entitled, “Innovate for Collective Impact to End Malaria”, on Friday, January 11, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, USA. Its core objective is to frame a response to the 2018 World Malaria Report and to develop innovative approaches to collectively bridge critical issues in malaria eradication spanning research, financing, and implementation.

After a significant decline in malaria cases and deaths over the past decade, estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) flagship malaria publication—2018 World Malaria Report—point to a stall in the progress over the past two years. Whereas the estimated people with malaria steadily fell from 239 million in 2010 to 214 million in 2015, an estimated 219 million cases of malaria were reported in 2017. At the same time, 46 countries have fewer than 10,000 cases, and of these, 21 countries are targeting elimination of malaria transmission by 2020. The global plateau in malaria morbidity and mortality contrasts with the significant progress towards elimination in a number of countries. This sobering new data is a stark reminder that innovation — from biomedical research and the adaptation of technical solutions/tools for local contexts to narrowing global finance gaps — will be a critical element to both sustaining the gains achieved over the past ten years and advancing the goal of eradication.

In addition to current efforts to shore up financial and political support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, the global malaria community will need to explore new opportunities for innovative financing (e.g., new country-level investments from governments in malaria endemic countries, expanded engagement with the private sector, philanthropy, and civil society in all countries, and cross-sectoral collaborations) for long-term success to combat malaria.

Given this strategic and critical timeliness, we realized the pressing need for a global gathering of key stakeholders. Thus together, stakeholders and partners from academia, civil society, national malaria programs, and research institutions will discuss and prioritize findings from the latest World Malaria Report, and engage in a dialogue to consider the diversity of challenges across countries as well as the opportunities afforded by socioeconomic development, improved communication systems, and most importantly, the aspirations of the countries themselves.

This meeting is sponsored by the MESA Alliance (MESA) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and organized in collaboration with the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Friends of the Global Fight to Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; Harvard University’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe Initiative; and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Meeting proceedings and relevant materials (subject to permission share) will be available thereafter.