World Malaria Day 2015: APMEN recap
World Malaria Day was celebrated on April 25 this year; a global campaign spearheaded by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership and the World Health Organization. The theme again was, 'Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria". The following issue of the APMEN newsletter showcases stories from the Country Partners ofAPMEN, and from around the world. It is encouraging to see that the message of malaria elimination is at the forefront of celebrations. The APMEN Secretariat wishes to thank all contributors for communicating these great stories of malaria elimination advocacy to the network.
Indonesian communities join in World Malaria Day Jamboree
From 21st to 25th April 2015, all eyes were on Subaim, a small town in East Halmahera district of North Maluku province, Indonesia. Two hundred and thirty five cadres from villages in most districts of North Maluku got together to share experiences, knowledge, passion and excitement in celebrating their 8th annual World Malaria Day. This province has successfully put community participation, called Participatory Learning and Action (PLA), into practice as a strategy against malaria.
The event, named "Jamboree PLA malaria" or communities' malaria week, is a celebration and gathering of people to say "keep up the good work", and to scale it up for other health programmes, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, immunization, sanitation and environmental health. Following a malaria outbreak in 2003 which killed 272 people, North Maluku is now confident it can prepare itself for malaria elimination. This achievement is a result of some diligent work being done in villages and sub-districts, along with government support.
The Vice Governor of North Maluku attended and commenced the opening ceremony. Representatives from the Ministry ofHealth Republic of Indonesia, Heads of Districts (Bupati and Wakil Bupati), Deputy Major of Tidore district, regional secretary of North Halmahera, Head of Health Department, representatives from all districts and also two participants from East Kutai district (East Kalimantan) took part in first day parade. PLA members, who are mostly farmers, fishermen and housewives, marched in their colourful 'uniforms' while everyone clapped and cheered. It is, indeed, a tribute to these health cadres!
"An event this big should be at national level, but now we are in a sub-district, which is amazing how we really work at a village level," a representative from the Ministry of Health commented.
During the five-day gathering, PLA members were actively involved in learning, practicing and sharing understanding of communicable diseases in their environment. Some activities included:
Simulation of PLA training in the community
On the first day, each district's team competed in making a simulation of PLA training in their village area. This activity aims at showing cadres' skills and creativity in involving people at villages and schools while also learning good practice from other districts.
The cadres are villagers who have been trained to train others in their villages, and raise awareness of other health issues, and are also known as facilitators. The meeting purpose is also to refresh and update their knowledge in malaria and other health programmes, in order to better facilitate service to their communities.
Quiz in malaria, maternal and child health and immunization
This method encourages PLA members to improve their skills and understanding of health issues. The competitions were quite challenging, and it was very impressive that the participants could answer the questions accurately and quickly.
Workshop in improving microeconomics through farmer's association (Gabungan kelompok tani/GAPOKTAN) from Subaim and demonstration of how to make simple latrine
To make community participation sustainable, financial independency is important. This is the reason behind the workshop in organic farming, making alatrine, and even how to secure a good interest bank loan. Presentations from the farmer?s association, sanitation and bank officers were made, followed by lively discussions with PLA members.
Local product exhibition
North Maluku is rich in diversity, whether in its natural resources, natural beauty, hand-made products or local foods. The event showcased these local products. Items included gem stones, jewelleries, bags and decorations, places of interest like beach or diving sites, some traditional food such as sago or palm sugar.
Art performance and presentation from cadres.
PLA members played music, sang, performed theatrical plays and jokes. Night activities were always fun and vibrant, with people flocking to the event to listen to some presentations and enjoy art performance by cadres while shopping for some local products.
At the closing ceremony, presents and awards were given to participants by the government while a symbolic gift, named "Pataka", was given to North Halmahera, the district to host the next (3rd) jamboree in 2017.
Finally, this biennial event is a symbol of government support and people's awareness in controlling and eliminating malaria and other health problems that will not be solved without community participation and change of behaviour towards a better life style and a healthy habit. North Maluku has come quite far to build a strong PLA members to facilitate people at village level to protect themselves against malaria. Through this meeting, a collaboration with other potential stakeholders and a continuous support from the government are expected to accelerate malaria elimination in 2020.
Eventually, North Maluku wants to stand as a province with high productivity and ability to be a good place to live and travel, as it will be malaria-free.
Report by Iswahyudi and Sririyati Sugiarto
Photos: Abimanyu, Sueba Alwi, Jaslan
World Malaria Day in Cambodia
APMEN Country Partner Cambodia took the opportunity of World Malaria Day 2015 on 25 April to celebrate their achievements in control and elimination with the biggest series ofnationwide malaria events witnessed in recent years.
Every malaria endemic province conducted activities designed to bring awareness of the alarming issue of multi-drug resistant malaria in western and northern Cambodia, and drive home the World Malaria Day theme, "Invest in the future: Defeat malaria".
The main World Malaria Day event was conducted in Siem Reap City, where His Excellency the Minister of Health, led activities alongside the Director of the National Centre for Entomology, Parasitology and Malaria Control, Dr Huy Rekol.
There was huge excitement on this day, particularly from all the staff from the National Malaria Programme, as they joined celebrations and shared stories from their targeted provinces, and discussed their goals to reach national eliminationby 2025. High-level government officials from other ministries were also present, reserving the day from their busy schedules to support the activities.
The main outcomes of the event were raised awareness of the progress and ability to achieve malaria elimination in Cambodia, and also strengthen political will. By bringing together different government agencies, such as the ministry of defense, the police, the federal department of drug regulation (DDF), the ministry of education, as well as schools and universities to establish intersectoral dialogue and collaborations, Cambodia can look forward to another fruitful year working toward national malaria elimination.
See more photos from the Cambodia World Malaria Day celebrations here.
Report by Sara Canavati, Research Scientist, Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit
Private Sector Innovates to Eliminate Malaria in Cambodia
Image source and original post on Impatient Optimists, by Abigail Pratt, PSI
In the lead up to this year's World Malaria Day, Ms Abigail Pratt - Malaria Technical Advisor for Cambodia from new APMEN partner institution Population Services International (PSI) - posted an article on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation blog about the private sector's potential to radically assist Cambodia's National Strategy for Malaria Elimination formalize the distribution of proper antimalarials.
The article also discusses utilizing technology and innovation to urgently reach remote populations of mobile forest workers and their families who are most at-risk of getting malaria. Ms Pratt implores the important collaboration between the public and private sector, as well as a key understanding of the populations, as essential to Cambodia's malaria elimination strategy.
Read the full blog post on Impatient Optimists here.
View Abigail's recent presentation at APMENV II meeting, and other presentations, here.
An Asia-Pacific Free of Malaria by 2030: a special World Malaria Day event
Australia and Vietnam jointly hosted a special World Malaria Day event on 24 April at the Australian Permanent Mission in Geneva, Switzerland.
The event was attended by Ambassadors, health attaches of around 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as donor countries, representatives from someAPMENpartner institutions, and invited guests.
The audience were briefed on the overall malaria situation, updates on success stories in malaria from the region, and the most pressing challenges to the 2030 elimination goal, endorsed at the 9th East Asia Summit in Myanmar, November 2014.
The Asia Pacific Leaders' Malaria Alliance (APLMA) is developing a Leaders' Malaria Elimination Roadmap to provide high-level strategic guidance on how to achieve this goal. The Roadmap will be considered for endorsement at the 10th East Asia Summit in Malaysia, November 2015, and participants were urged to ensure high-level representation at the Senior Health Officials' Meeting to be held 9-10 Julyin Manila, which will review a draft of the Leaders' Malaria Elimination Roadmap.
Read the full event report and download materials from the APLMA website here.
WHO WPRO World Malaria Day 2015: Protecting and strengthening gains for a malaria-free future
MANILA, 24 APRIL 2015 - With the theme "Invest in the future, defeat malaria", the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region has urged Member States to consolidate recent gains against malaria and accelerate efforts towards a malaria-free region.
Read the full WHO WPRO news release here.
New WHO published Guidelines for malaria treatment
Malaria case management, which consists of prompt diagnosis and effective treatment, remains a vital component of malaria control and elimination strategies. This third edition of the WHO Guidelines for the treatment of malaria contains updated recommendations based on new evidence as well as a recommendation on the use of drugs to prevent malaria in high-risk groups.
The core principles underpinning this edition include: early diagnosis and prompt, effective treatment; rational use of antimalarial treatment to ensure that only confirmed malaria cases receive antimalarials; the use of combination therapy in preventing or delaying development of resistance; and appropriate weight-based dosing of antimalarials to ensure prolonged useful therapeutic life and an equal chance of being cured for all patients. View/download the Guidelines here.
Thailand: Public Health Ministry set to make 2024 malaria-zero
BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health is set on making Thailand a malaria-zero country, as malaria patients are on a decline.
To achieve the goal, the Ministry of Public Health will beef up its PR campaign and measures, including the malaria mosquito elimination, expansion of access to diagnosis and treatment for the general people, especially those in border areas where infection is most likely.
The Disease Control Department, meanwhile, disclosed that this year's malaria cases among Thai people between January and April had dropped by 21 percent from the same period last year. Cases among foreign people also fell 26 percent. Provinces with the highest number of infections were Ubon Ratchathani, Tak, Kanchanaburi and Yala.
The Ministry of Public Health's move is part of the activities organized globally to observe World's Malaria Day which falls on April 25.
Report from: National News Bureau of Thailand
India highlighted for elimination progress
India drives down malaria rates, sets sights on elimination
Image: WHO/A Das, Report from World Health Organization (April 2015):
The hilly, wooded landscapes of India's north and north-eastern states and the nomadic nature of many of its tribal groups contribute to the high number of malaria cases in that region of the country.
Some 80% of the malaria cases reported in India occur in these states which are home to only 20% of the population. Internal conflicts and increasing population mobility pose additional challenges to eliminating malaria in the region.
Despite these challenges, India is working - and making progress towards the elimination of malaria. Since 2000, the country has more than halved the number of malaria cases, down from 2 million to 882 000 in 2013. And, the trend is continuing. Read the full feature by WHO here.
India: Help Defeat Malaria Drug Resistance (Report By HealthMeUp, posted Apr 24th 2015):
Author Dr Sucheta Tiwari, a physician and public health professional in New Delhi and 2014 graduate of Oxford University, has written a commentary on India's malaria story in time for World Malaria Day.
In her piece, Tiwari writes that India and malaria are "inextricably linked" because of the Indian-born British medical doctor, Sir Ronald Ross, who in 1898 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), first discovered that the malaria parasite was transmitted by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito.
Her commentary explores the history of malaria in India, the extremely dangerous threat of the spread of drug resistance to India from Southeast Asia. She also notes India's partnership with APMEN, and the regional commitment of countries in the for a malaria-free Asia Pacific are all-important first steps to coordinating response and action, and to save undoing decades of progress.
Read the full story here.
IMCP-II observes World Malaria Day in India
The Intensified Malaria Control Project II (IMCP-II) celebrated World Malaria Day in the northeast of India with plenty of community activities. The theme "Invest in the future: Defeat Malaria" resonated across Assam, Agartala, Arunachal, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland on 25th April 2015- WORLD MALARIA DAY!
Thousands pledged to Join the Fight Against Malaria in northeast India, as people from all walks of life came together celebrating victory over Malaria, and affirming continuous support to curb Malaria in the region.
The Observance of World Malaria Day saw the active participation and presence of Government officials, health workers, social workers, community leaders, students, NCC cadets, media and the public in huge numbers.
With the massive turnout and assured support from the people, IMCP-II continues to fight Malaria in the North East, more confident than ever! Report and photos on the IMCP-II Facebook page here.
TWiGH profiles malaria
'This Week in Global Health', or TWiGH, is a video blog on YouTube that discusses a different global health topic each week. To highlight the recent World Malaria Day on 25 April, Editor-in-Chief of Globalization and Health Journal, Dr Greg Martin, profiled malaria and the work of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). Greg talked to international development journalist and ASTMH Communications Director Jacyln Schiff and a panel of guests about the global malaria burden and the progress and challenges, such as artemisinin and chloroquine resistance, and also what organizations are involved in the fight to #DefeatMalaria. Watch the full video here.
APMEN Secretariat promote malaria elimination message to students
The APMEN joint secretariat celebrated the elimination message all around the globe for World Malaria Day 2015!
To showcase World Malaria Day in Australia, the APMEN joint secretariat from the University of Queensland (UQ) set up a static display showing malaria elimination activities in the region, toward the goal of a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030! UQ School of Public Health students and staff were sensitized to the goal of a 'Malaria-Free Asia Pacific by 2030' and took time to see the display of malaria nets, pictures from APMEN activities, infographics, flyers and reports. See more pictures on APMEN Facebook here.
Colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco were showcased on US TV show PBS Newshour. Dr. Hugh Sturrock's discussed the ongoing work at Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) and the collaboration with Google Earth Engine to develop user-friendly, real time disease risk maps which would enable health workers to better target malaria interventions. Ms Brittany Zelman also presented at the 4th Annual Bay Area World Malaria Day Symposium on understanding the impact of the Global Fund?s New Funding Model on malaria-eliminating countries.
In Sweden, Dr. Roly Gosling, was a featured speaker at the inauguration of the Centre for Malaria Research at the Karolinska Institute (a partner institution ofAPMEN) where he presented on malaria elimination efforts, challenges, and opportunities. Also at the Centre's opening, Director of another APMEN partner institution, the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN), Dr. Philippe Guerin, presented on the topic of? Antimalarial drug resistance, a global threat to malaria control. Click to watch a recent video from WWARN, "Supporting the fight against malaria drug resistance".
Report by Brittany Zelman (GHG, UCSF) and Mel Kawa (APMEN co-secretariat)
Financial Times special: Combating Malaria
For the seventh consecutive year, the Financial Times published its 'Combating Malaria' special supplement on April 24th, which was made possible by the institutional commitment and collaboration of Roll Back Malaria Partners, Working Groups and individuals who took the time to share their views and expertise on the important issues facing malaria control and elimination today. Similarly, the 5th malaria supplement was published in the Independent, UK.
View/download the FT Health report 'Combating Malaria' here
Original report from Roll Back Malaria E-Newsletter (To subscribe, contact email@example.com)
The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network would like to send our thoughts to our Country Partner, Nepal, as the Kingdom recovers from the devastating earthquake that struck on 25 April.
In a true example of how APMEN countries can support each other, the APMEN Secretariat has learnt that many personnel from the neighbouring Kingdom of Bhutan malaria programme, along with others in the Ministry of Health have been working hard to send disaster relief supplies, including medical teams and anti-malarials medicines to Nepal.
The Facebook site, Bhutan4Nepal, follows the progress of relief efforts.
Sri Lanka eyes malaria-free status, emphasizes need to continue strongly with elimination
In Sri Lanka, Dr. Kamini Mendis authored a great article for The Island to commemorate World Malaria Day, emphasizing the requirements to sustain a malaria-free Sri Lanka.
Also from Sri Lanka, a news website was touting the recent elimination success and provided information and key messages to keep Sri Lanka malaria-free. A more in-depth, personal story behind Sri Lanka's experience with elimination was published by BigNewsNetwork.com, referencing Malaria Control and Elimination in Sri Lanka: Documenting Progress and Success Factors in a Conflict Setting (published by the Global Health Group, the WHO, and Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health).
Global Fund features Asia Pacific malaria elimination goal
Image: Global Fund grant map, Global Fund
A Global Fund News Flash on May 1 has featured a story on the goal of a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030. The story highlights the Asia-Pacific Leaders' Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and the development of a roadmap to guide the region to malaria elimination.
Encouragingly, the Global Fund's Regional Artemisinin Resistance Initiative (RAI) grant to accelerate elimination of P. falciparum malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), "could be the best $100m the Global Fund ever spent," according to Mark Edington, Head of Grant Management at the Global Fund. Check out RAI's new website here.
The Global Fund also published a World Malaria Day Special News Flash, showcasing an interview with WHO's GMP Pedro Alonso discussing what will be needed to accelerate progress toward malaria elimination.
Malaria Journal launches new thematic series on World Malaria Day
Image: Swiss Malaria Group/Stuart Matthews Original report:Malaria World [April 26]
To celebrate World Malaria Day 2015, the Malaria Journal launched a new thematic series: "Re-imagining malaria - a platform for essential reflections to widen horizons in malaria control", edited by: Dr. Julian Eckl, Dr. Susanna Hausmann Muela. Visit the Malaria Journal Thematic Series here.
APMEN VII presentations now available
Copies of the PowerPoint presentations from speakers at the 7th annual meeting of APMEN in Hoi An, Vietnam in March 2015, are now available online.
Visit the APMEN website.