WHO welcomes Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 for discovery of artemisinin and avermectin compounds
6 October 2015 – WHO applauds the decision to award this year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discoveries of drugs that have radically improved treatment for malaria, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. The prize for artemisinin is a tribute to the contribution of the Chinese scientific community in the fight against malaria. Artemisinin compounds have become the mainstay of malaria treatment over the past 15 years. Since 2000, more than 1 billion artemisinin-based treatment courses have been administered to malaria patients.
30 September 2015 – The Malaria Policy Advisory Committee reviewed the recommendations of expert groups on the use of mass drug administration for malaria; prevention and treatment of malaria in pregnancy; and vector control coverage. It also heard updates on artemisinin and ACT resistance in the Greater Mekong subregion, malaria elimination in the WHO European Region, and the ongoing process to update malaria terminology. Other topics on the agenda included G6PD testing before treatment and the latest updates on the RTS,S vaccine candidate.
17 September 2015 – According to a joint WHO/UNICEF report released today, the rate of new malaria cases has dropped by 37% globally over the past 15 years, while mortality fell by 60%. The report, Achieving the Malaria MDG Target, shows that the malaria target of the Millennium Development Goals has been met “convincingly”. However, malaria remains an acute public health problem in many regions, above all in sub-Saharan Africa where 15 countries accounted for 80% of malaria cases and 78% of deaths globally in 2015.