Ministers and delegates at the Malaria2012: Saving Lives in the Pacific conference held in Sydney Australia have set the ambitious but realistic goal of reducing malaria deaths in the Asia-Pacific region by 75 per cent within three years.
The communique commits to the following actions:
- To strengthen political and technical leadership in the region and establish the Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance.
– The alliance will be country-led and comprise eminent persons charged with advocating for rapid action to combat drug resistance, and for accelerating the fight against malaria.
– Working with existing regional institutions the alliance will check our progress.
- To convene a taskforce to explore options to close the financing gap.
- To convene a taskforce to improve access to quality antimalarial medicines and technologies in the Asia-Pacific region.
- To expand the coverage of effective malaria interventions, in partnership with non-government organisations and the private sector.
– In areas where Artemisinin resistance has emerged, at risk communities and building health system capacity will be priorities.
- Identify and coordinate priority research and development to create new tools or improve existing tools for better program and policy impact.
The Australian government has committed $100 million to this fight over four years, including:
- An estimated $9.5 million through the Three Millennium Development Goals (3MDG) Fund in Myanmar to buy bed nets and to purchase drugs to treat children and their families.
- $23.5 million to Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea to help local clinics to roll out testing kits for more accurate diagnosis of the disease, community awareness campaigns and insecticide spraying.
- $2.75 million to the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network to share information and advocate for malaria elimination.
- $51 million for core funding to multilateral organisations – the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- $5 million for the World Health Organization to address drug-resistant malaria in the Mekong region. $10 million for malaria research as part of the new AusAID Medical Research Strategy.
More information at: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/HotTopics/Pages/Display.aspx?QID=860