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Will malaria deaths be zero in 2015?

Yes - if we continue this way it will work
0% (0 votes)
No - the MDGs for malaria will not be reached
100% (28 votes)
Total votes: 28

Comments

Submitted by Wallace Peters on
I have been marching down this road for more than 50 years. There are at last some significant reductions in malaria deaths thanks to developments in the available tools and funding. However, I regret that I cannot envisage the massive changes in human behaviour that would enable us to achieve the worthy target of reducing malaria deaths to zero over this short timespan. What is the answer to this problem?

Wallace Peters

Bart G.J. Knols's picture
Submitted by Bart G.J. Knols on
Below the message that I received on 22 Dec from RBM Dear RBM Partners and Friends, As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to wish you and your families the very best for the holiday season. I also congratulate you all for your commitment, hard work and determination that made a difference this year. 2010 has been a landmark year. Ten years ago, the African Heads of State meeting in Abuja deplored the fact that malaria, a treatable and preventable disease, was causing one million deaths every year in Africa, and committed themselves to halve malaria-related mortality by 2010. The Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP), in line with the UN Secretary-General's call, had targeted this year for universal coverage of malaria interventions. The great efforts you have invested in the fight against malaria have enabled the achievement of unprecedented results, which are reflected in the RBM Progress and Impact Series, the 2010 WHO World Malaria Report and diverse documents of the December RBM Board Meeting. We have many challenges ahead in supporting countries to catch up and sustain their gains or eliminate malaria to ensure that the MDGs in 2015 are within our reach. I wish you all a good rest over the festive season and don't forget, in 2011, we will save even more lives! Awa-Marie Coll Seck RBM Partnership Executive Director ----- What are your views? Will we reach zero deaths by 2015, given the current tools and finances available?

William Jobin's picture
Submitted by William Jobin on
Best Wishes to all of you for the New Year. My resolve for this year is to speak truth to power. In other words, let us be frank with the folks in WHO in Geneva and give them the advice they need to hear. If not, we are betraying all the people suffering from malaria who depend on us. The Abuja goals are fantasies, set by people with little or no information on reality. They cannot be met with the current WHO strategies and resources. Available budgets are sufficient for about one-fourth of the needs, and funds are decreasing, probably because donors realize the WHO plans are unrealistic. They will decrease further until we establish a realistic approach. The fantasy about zero deaths by 2015 shows the unrealistic nature of WHO's outlook. How are they going to organize this in Somalia for instance, where even basic security for health workers is not available, and where government programs are largely non-existant? And note the inability of Geneva to admit that drug resistance is occuring, and also biocide resistance. These are the problems that destroyed the Global Eradication Program in the 1960's; they are still occurring and yet Geneva prescribes more of the same. The current strategy of drugs, drugs, drugs, biocides and ephemeral bednets is unsustainable and cannot protect anyone except for a few years, while budgets and patience remain. After seeing the feeble progress under the current strategy, donors and country programs will lose heart. We need: 1. to add permanent measures to the current strategy, so that the temporary improvements now occurring can be solidified. This includes improved water management to eliminate existing breeding sites around poorly operated irrigation and drainage systems, especially along the big rivers like the Nile, Zambezi, Senegal, and Niger. As climate change occurs, the importance of these irrigation and drainage systems will increase. The World Bank is now proposing to re-start work on hydropower dams and water projects. Rather than having these projects add to the malaria burden, we need to design and operate these new systems in ways that prevent malaria. Existing systems need improved water control and drainage. 2. Bednets are unsustainable and poorly used. We should gradually replace them with screening in houses, and blockage of anopheline access through eaves and other gaps in house walls and ceilings. Such improvements also add to the value of houses, and can be done by the homeowners or local carpenters. 3. We need to focus on those countries which have stable and democratic governments, and not waste our resources in places where dictators will steal them, or wars will destroy. The countries in southern Africa offer the most promise, but Senegal, Mali and Ghana are also worthy in western Africa. Tanzania and Mozambique are also good bets. 4. By language groupings - Arabic, Portuguese, English and French - we need to establish training centers where field personnel, epidemiologists and entomologists can get appropriate training, probably based on strong universities in those regions. Ministries of Health should support career tracks for malaria control people who get training at these centers. 5. Appropriate local strategies should be developed in the 4-5 ecological zones across the continent which match transmission patterns. 6. The Kitchen Sink Strategy should be employed, in which every possible measure is used, except throwing the Kitchen Sink at the mosquitoes. The most obvious areas are to add anti-larval measures, both spraying of habitats, and elimination of the larger ones by filling or drainage. Also improved housing and screens. The unusual focus on drugs by WHO, to the exclusion of many other strategies, stifles the entire African strategy. 7. We have expanded on these ideas in "A realistic strategy for attacking malaria in Africa" by Boston Harbor Publishers, which just came out this year. I would be glad to give more information to anyone interested. 8. Fantasies about eradication should not be allowed to derail realistic approaches to this eternal problem. It should be attacked like most other public health problems, with careful and thoughtful attacks, gradually expanding stable government programs as we reduce transmission to minor levels. Sporadic and ephemeral attacks by well-intentioned but disorganized donors are a waste. 9. We can't wait for a vaccine. Bill Gates has just admitted that he was incredibly naive when he started his quest for a vaccine. Insstead, there is enough support now to focus our available resources on the places where we can permanently reduce transmission, within African resources. As we expand such successful zones, we can look forward to gradually reducing malaria to a minor public health problem. 10. We need to get the attention of the harried and cash-strapped folks in Geneva. They need our help, but don't seem to have much interest in becoming more realistic. I would appreciate your help in figuring how to reach them. Bill, with great hope for realistic progress in 2011

William Jobin Director of Blue Nile Associates

Cliff Landesman's picture
Submitted by Cliff Landesman on
How does one order "A realistic strategy for attacking malaria in Africa"? The Orders page on the Boston Harbor Publishers site does not have a link for ordering. I could not find the monograph on Amazon.

William Jobin's picture
Submitted by William Jobin on
My monographs are listed on Amazon.com, if you go to Books, and then type in William Jobin. I am puzzled why you cannot find it. Amazon.com is the only site where they can be purchased now, the Boston Harbor Publishers site just refers you to Amazon.com Please try again, and if you fail, please send me an email at blue.nile@earthlink.net Bill

William Jobin Director of Blue Nile Associates