India launches a national plan to eliminate malaria
11 February 2016 – India’s Ministry of Health today launched an ambitious roadmap to eliminate malaria nationwide. The National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 2016-2030, unveiled in New Delhi, aims to reduce malaria case incidence and deaths to zero over the next 15 years. According to the World Malaria Report 2015, there were an estimated 1.1 million confirmed cases of malaria in India in 2014. Despite a significant reduction in malaria case incidence since 2000, India accounts for approximately 70% of the regional malaria burden in South-East Asia.
3 February 2016 – Early and accurate laboratory confirmation of malaria with microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests is essential in endemic areas to improve the management of patients with febrile illnesses and to strengthen surveillance based on clinical malaria cases. The reliability of microscopy-based diagnosis of malaria depends on quality management systems in place and optimal use of resources. This manual is designed to assist managers of national malaria programmes and reference laboratories in investing in quality assurance of malaria microscopy. It will be released in French and Spanish soon.
1 February 2016 – UNITAID and IVVC have announced a joint initiative to support African countries in obtaining new and effective insecticides at lower prices. Speaking at the launch event, Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, said: “Effective vector control is a cornerstone of our global strategy for malaria. We welcome this joint initiative to accelerate the development and deployment of new insecticides and vector control tools."
WHO issues its first position paper on a malaria vaccine
29 January 2016 – WHO issued today a position paper on RTS,S/AS01, a vaccine that provides partial protection against Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally. RTS,S is the first malaria vaccine to complete pivotal Phase 3 testing and obtain a positive scientific opinion from a stringent medicines regulatory authority. The vaccine is being considered as a complementary malaria control tool in Africa that could potentially be added to – and not replace – the core package of proven malaria preventive, diagnostic and treatment interventions.
The WHO Global Malaria Programme is currently calling for applications from malaria experts for membership on the Technical Expert Group on Malaria Vector Control.
The WHO global fact sheet on malaria has been updated to provide the latest facts and figures about the disease.
These recommendations focus on the use of LLINs treated with a pyrethroid insecticide and piperonyl butoxide, and on the need to gather more evidence on conditions and settings where they have increased efficacy compared to pyrethroid-only LLINs.
WHO, FIND and US CDC have released the latest report on malaria RDT product testing. The report provides a comparative measure of RDT performance in a standardized way to distinguish between well and poorly performing tests.
This information note provides an updated list of recommended criteria for selecting rapid diagnostics tests for malaria, and highlights the performance of tests evaluated by the WHO malaria RDT product testing programme.