Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

EDITORIAL COMMENTARY
Year
: 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 315--316

Aiming for Malaria elimination: World Health Organization


Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek S Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy 
 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

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, Tamil Nadu
India




How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming for Malaria elimination: World Health Organization.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:315-316


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming for Malaria elimination: World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 12 ];10:315-316
Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/2/315/208711


Full Text

For decades together, malaria has persisted to be a life-threatening infectious disease and has attracted immense attention from global stakeholders.[1],[2] The current estimate does suggest that both the incidence and the disease-specific fatality rate have been reduced by 37 and 60%, respectively, in the first 15 years of the 21st century.[1] Nevertheless, even today, almost half of the world's population is at a great risk to acquire the infection across 95 nations, which are reporting ongoing transmission of the disease.[1] In fact, Sub-Saharan African region accounts for almost nine out of every ten global cases or deaths attributed to the disease, and all these are alarming public health concerns.[1]

The good thing about the disease is that it is preventable and curable, as clearly evidenced by the zero local cases being reported in the entire European region in 2015.[3] This has been predominantly due to the sustained efforts, especially in the expansion of long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying, strengthening of the surveillance, adoption of artemisinin-based combination therapies, research in the field of vector-related attributes, etc.[1],[2],[3] Similarly, encouraging results have been obtained in even other parts of the world, and the World Health Organization has adopted a global technical strategy, which aims for decreasing the incidence and mortality by at least 90%, eliminating the disease from at least 35 nations by 2030, and preventing the reemergence of the infection in nations that are disease free.[1],[3],[4]

However, in a mission to eliminate the disease, a wide range of practical challenges like lack of sustained political commitment, a proportionate rise in the financial allocation toward the prevention and control activities, migration of human population within and across different nations, persistence of asymptomatic reservoirs, awareness among the people about the disease and the services available in health set-up, notification of all diagnosed cases from all health care providers including laboratories, not modifying the elimination strategies despite alterations in the rates of transmission, questionable utility of some of the tools that have initially delivered encouraging results, emergence of resistance to drugs, poor quality of active surveillance, and inadequacies in the follow-up of asymptomatic cases have been acknowledged.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]

To achieve the set global targets and counter the existing challenges, there is an immense need for both strong political and financial commitments so that case surveillance can be improved and each one of them is detected.[4],[5] This will even help the policy makers in taking an evidence-based decision to adopt innovative solutions (like the introduction of a newer rapid diagnostic kit in the program, reporting using mobiles, offering incentives for case notification, etc.), required for attainment of the set targets.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] For instance, an exclusive 1-3-7 strategy (1—reporting case within 1 day, 3—ensuring confirmation and investigation within 3 days, and 7—implementing specific public health response to prevent further transmission of the infection) has been adopted in China to fast-track the work, and it has delivered quite encouraging results.[7] In addition, interventions like training, retraining, and the introduction of an effective vaccine are also expected to improve the response.[1],[4]

To conclude, malaria elimination is totally achievable; what is needed is concerted effort from all the stakeholders and an adequate financial support for the smooth implementation of the different prevention and control strategies.

Acknowledgements

S.R.S. contributed to the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, and approving the final version of the manuscript.

P.S.S. contributed to the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, and approving the final version of the manuscript.

J.R. contributed in revising the draft and approving the final version of the manuscript.

References

1World Health Organization. Malaria ‐ Fact sheet. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Apr 24].
2Sheikhzadeh K, Haghdoost AA, Bahrampour A, Zolala F, Raeisi A.Assessment of the impact of the malaria elimination programme on the burden of disease morbidity in endemic areas of Iran. Malar J 2016;15:209.
3World Health Organization. On World Malaria Day, a push to eliminate malaria. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/world-malaria-day/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Apr 26].
4World Health Organization. Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030. Geneva WHO Press 2015;1-26.
5Chihanga S, Haque U, Chanda E, Mosweunyane T, Moakofhi K, Jibril HB, et al. Malaria elimination in Botswana, 2012-2014: achievements and challenges. Parasit Vectors 2016;9: 99.
6Brady OJ, Godfray HC, Tatem AJ, Gething PW, Cohen JM, McKenzie FE, et al. Vectorial capacity and vector control: reconsidering sensitivity to parameters for malaria elimination. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2016;110:107-17.
7Zhou SS,Zhang SS,Zhang L,Rietveld AE,Ramsay AR,Zachariah R, et al. China's 1-3-7 surveillance and response strategy for malaria elimination: is case reporting, investigation and foci response happening according to plan? Infect Dis Poverty 2015;4:55.