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April 25 marks World Malaria Day and Fight the Fakes is supporting the call to reignite the global movement towards malaria elimination!
From 2000 until 2015 the global health community annually celebrated the successful progress in the reduction of malaria cases in almost every country worldwide. Yet since 2016 this progress has stalled, particularly across the 10 highest burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
‘All countries have committed to ending malaria by 2030 […] WHO’s world malaria report 2018 shows that we are dangerously off track. For the second straight year the global response to malaria has flatlined. In the 10 highest burden countries in Africa, there were 3.5 million more cases of malaria in 2017 than 2016. We must act, and we must act now.’ – Dr Tedros, Director-General WHO
The World Malaria Report from 2018 highlights the lack of access to and uptake of lifesaving malaria tools and interventions (such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, diagnostic testing), insufficient levels of funding into malaria research, the rise of drug resistance to antimalarial medicines and mosquito resistance to insecticides as key barriers towards malaria elimination.
One potentially still overlooked factor in the recent stagnation in malaria progress is the growing threat of falsified medicines, and particularly fake antimalarials! Besides antibiotics, antimalarials are among the most commonly fake medicines, and estimates suggest that up to 60% of antimalarials circulating in sub-Saharan African countries could be fake and may contribute to over 116,000 deaths annually in the region.
Falsified medicines also greatly contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Evidence shows that resistance to one of the most commonly used drugs for malaria treatment, artemisinin, first appeared in a part of the world where between 38 and 90% of the medicines on the market were falsified or of very poor quality.
Our partner the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action towards a world free from malaria. Under the theme ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ and Paris being the host city of this year’s World Malaria Day, RBM wants to intensify the engagement in the malaria fight globally.
Besides RBM, three other partners of our campaign, Malaria Consortium, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and the Dutch Malaria Foundation, have made it their mission to combat malaria and to ensure that people can live in a malaria-free world. Fight the Fakes is supporting their efforts and wants to raise awareness about the dangerous consequences of falsified antimalarials to individuals as well as the global goal of malaria elimination.