World Malaria Report 2013 launched in Washington, DC and New York

The WHO Global Malaria Programme launched the latest World Malaria Report at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on 11 December 2013.

The report’s key findings were presented by Dr Robert Newman, Director of the Global Malaria Programme, who was joined by a panel of distinguished experts: Admiral Timothy Ziemer, Global Malaria Coordinator at the US President’s Malaria Initiative, Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, and Dr Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).

On the heels of the announcement that global malaria mortality rates were reduced by an estimated 45% globally, and by 51% in children under five years of age between 2000 and 2012, saving an estimated 3.3 million lives, former US president George W. Bush said the following in a statement:

“This hopeful progress is due in large part to the generosity and leadership of the American people. Now it's important for our country and the world not to rest, but to build on this momentum."

Dr Newman addressing the audience on the launch of the World Malaria Report 2013 in Washingtion, DC 11 December 2013

The remarkable gains against malaria are still fragile. In the next 10-15 years, the world will need innovative tools and technologies, as well as new strategic approaches to sustain and accelerate progress.

Dr Robert Newman, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

To mark the launch of the report, Malaria No More US – the biggest malaria NGO in the US – hosted a reception at the US Capitol Visitors Centre, which was attended by PAHO Regional Director Dr Carissa Etienne, Members of Congress, representatives of the global health community and the above mentioned panellists.

“The United States government has been an important ally throughout the global fight against malaria,” Dr Etienne told Members of Congress and others present at the reception, adding that the US President’s Malaria Initiative is one the largest sources of financial and technical assistance for malaria in the countries that are most in need, particularly in Africa.

In a blog post issued on the US State Department website, and reposted on the White House website, Secretary of State John Kerry said:

“It’s important to mark milestones of great progress both because they remind us that disciplined and determined efforts can be successful in meeting great challenges – but also because they underscore something Nelson Mandela once told us: It always seems impossible until it is done.

Today, the World Health Organization released a report that confirms what many of us have long believed: we’re knocking on the door of doing what many fifteen years ago deemed impossible. The bottom line: we can beat malaria, one of the most intransigent diseases on the planet. By bringing together governments, business leaders, philanthropists, donor agencies and citizens in malaria endemic countries to end deaths from this preventable and treatable disease, we’re making tremendous, unparalleled progress. […]

Today’s report is a timely reminder of the incredible progress that can be made when we harness public and private resources from around the world to tackle a global health challenge. But it is also an invitation for us to do more. We can and must win this fight.”

On 12 December, a lunch briefing was held in New York for the diplomatic community, hosted jointly by RBM, WHO, and ALMA. On the same day, Dr Newman and Mr Raymond G. Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs and for Malaria, briefed the United Nations press corps at UN Headquarters.

Mr Raymond G. Chambers said:

“To win the fight against malaria we must get the means to prevent and treat the disease to every family who needs it. Our collective efforts are not only ending the needless suffering of millions, but are helping families thrive and adding billions of dollars to economies that nations can use in other ways.”

The report’s key messages were picked up by the global media, including by leading newswires, the US National Public Radio, Time Magazine, CNN, Sky News, Voice of America, the New York Times, the Guardian, as well as a partner portals including those of RBM, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Malaria No More US and UK, UNITAID, TDR, ISGlobal and the ACT Consortium.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, said:

"The vote of confidence shown by donors last week at the replenishment conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is testimony to the success of global partnership. But we must fill the annual gap of US$ 2.6 billion to achieve universal coverage and prevent malaria deaths. This is our historic opportunity to defeat malaria."

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary for the United Kingdom, said:

“The fact that we have helped to almost halve the number of people dying from malaria shows that we are on the right path, and the UK will stay at the forefront of the global effort to eventually eliminate this dreadful disease.”