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EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 141-142
Millennium development goal target to reverse the global malaria incidence accomplished: The ground reality and what next?


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication3-May-2016
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Millennium development goal target to reverse the global malaria incidence accomplished: The ground reality and what next?. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:141-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Millennium development goal target to reverse the global malaria incidence accomplished: The ground reality and what next?. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Dec 13];9:141-2. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2016/9/3/141/181664
Malaria is a life-threatening arthropod-borne infection which is transmitted through the bites of an infected mosquito.[1] In fact, the global estimates suggested that in the year 2013, almost 2 million cases and 0.58 million associated deaths (maximum deaths from African region) were reported.[1] Acknowledging the enormous magnitude, high case fatality rate, and preventable/curable nature of the disease, it was included as one of the targets (target 6c - to halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015) under the millennium development goals (MDGs).[1],[2]

According to the recently released report by the World Health Organization (WHO)-United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, it has been reported that the member states have succeeded in meeting the MDG target 6c over the defined period.[2] In the span of 15 years, the incidence of malaria reduced by 37% while malaria-specific mortality fell by almost 60% across the world.[2] This is one of the major public health achievements under which more than 6 million lives have been saved.[1] Further, many nations are on the verge of malaria elimination (viz., zero incidence of locally contracted cases), with almost 55 nations are expected to achieve reduction in the malaria incidence by 75%.[1],[2]

The success achieved in bringing about a reduction in the incidence of malaria or the case fatality rate is primarily because of the implementation of the specific strategies.[2] The WHO has remained as the key agency to ensure the implementation of the Global Malaria Programme to ensure malaria control and elimination through adoption of evidence-based policies and technical strategies, strengthening of the health system and surveillance, and identification of the areas which need attention.[1],[2] It has also advocated for building liaison with other stakeholders to enhance the reach of the interventions under the program.[1]

However, this is only one side of the story; on the other side, multiple shortcomings have been identified in the mission to extend complete access to malaria prevention, diagnosis, and therapeutic services.[2] This is clearly evidenced as the progress which has been observed is not uniform, and some of the nations have reported a large number of malaria cases (viz., 15 nations from the Sub-Saharan Africa region contributes 80% of the incidence and 78% of global malaria deaths).[2] In fact, the current estimates suggest that in Africa, one child dies each minute due to malaria, and almost 3.2 billion persons worldwide are still at the risk of acquiring the malaria infection.[1]

Although it is a fact that the funding for the malaria prevention and control activities have increased, the question is whether it is enough?[2] Some of the nations have prioritized the issue of containment of malaria by mobilization of funds/resources through different channels, but again the number is just a handful.[2] However, owing to the interrupted supply of insecticide-treated bed nets, insecticide resistance, no access to artemisinin-combination therapy, evidence of emergence of resistance to antimalarial, travel of susceptible individuals to high-risk areas, ability to kill young children, especially those living in low resource settings, defects in the existing surveillance mechanism, lack of awareness about different aspects of the disease among the general population (viz., prevention of malaria, community resistance against the practice of indoor residual spraying, necessity to promptly provide adequate treatment, etc.), and absence of any approved vaccine, malaria still remains an acute public health problem in many regions of the world.[1],[3],[4]

Now, the question arises what next? To consolidate the success and move ahead in the field of malaria prevention and control, the member states have set the target of reducing the global incidence of malaria and its associated deaths by 90%, under the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030.[5] However, to achieve the newly proposed targets, there is an extensive need to have sustained political commitment, increased financial support, high-quality surveillance, and expansion of the services to the remote areas.[1],[2],[5] In addition, the scopes of other successful interventions such as periodic measurement of malaria transmission, reforms in the public health system, universal coverage with insecticide residual spray/long-lasting insecticidal nets, and community engagement can also be explored and implemented in a customized manner to help the high-risk areas achieve their goals.[3],[4],[6],[7]

To conclude, it is really great that the world has achieved the proposed MDG for malaria, but a lot still have to be done if we want to really achieve a uniform progress and eliminate the disease in the years to come. Thus, the need of the hour is to prepare ourselves for addressing the existing challenges and strive ahead in the field of prevention and control of malaria.

 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Malaria – Fact Sheet No. 94; 2015. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 19].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
WHO, UNICEF. Achieving the Malaria MDG Target: Reversing the Incidence of Malaria 2000-2015. Geneva: WHO Press; 2015. p. 1-26.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Murhandarwati EE, Fuad A, Sulistyawati S, Wijayanti MA, Bia MB, Widartono BS, et al. Change of strategy is required for malaria elimination: A case study in Purworejo district, Central Java Province, Indonesia. Malar J 2015;14:318.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Chanda E, Ameneshewa B, Angula HA, Iitula I, Uusiku P, Trune D, et al. Strengthening tactical planning and operational frameworks for vector control: The roadmap for malaria elimination in Namibia. Malar J 2015;14:302.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030. Geneva: WHO Press; 2015. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Watanabe N, Kaneko A, Yamar S, Taleo G, Tanihata T, Lum JK, et al. A prescription for sustaining community engagement in malaria elimination on Aneityum Island, Vanuatu: An application of Health Empowerment Theory. Malar J 2015;14:291.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Ghansah A, Amenga-Etego L, Amambua-Ngwa A, Andagalu B, Apinjoh T, Bouyou-Akotet M, et al. Monitoring parasite diversity for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa. Science 2014;345:1297-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.181664

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