Despite increase in funding for malaria control in the last decade and some significant achievements in treatment, we are still a long way from meeting global eradication goals. In December 2014, WHO reported that almost half of the world’s population (3.5 billion) is at risk of malaria. In 2013, there were approximately 198 million malaria cases, and an estimated 584,000 malaria deaths, mostly in Africa. One of the biggest challenges in malaria control is the cross border transmission of the infection.
In recent years, large population movements across countries in many continents have affected control measures and contributed to the spread of the disease. For example, a study shows that between 2001 and 2009, almost half of the malaria cases reported in northern South African province of Mpumalanga were acquired from Mozambique (Gueye, 2012). There are estimates that anywhere between 50 to 70% of all Argentinian malaria cases are linked to migration, especially cross border movements from Bolivia (PAHO, 2005; UCSF, 2012). Similar challenges exist in Asia as well. For example, in 2009, Yunnan Province of China saw 98.8% of its malaria cases imported from neighboring countries (Xu, 2012). Such spread presents significant challenges to human health by introducing the infection to areas with history of no infection, re-introducing it to areas that achieved infection control or eradication, and by importing drug resistant malaria strains. In order to control malaria infection and to completely eradicate it, cross border collaboration among countries is vital. There also needs to be training and operational research that supports these control measures.
To discuss this significant challenge of cross border malaria transmission, and current as well as past efforts for control, GHDonline is pleased to welcome the following group of panelists:
• Susan Lily Mutambu, PhD, Director, National Institute of Health Research, Zimbabwe
• Timothy Freeman, Project Manager, Rotarians Against Malaria, Papua New Guinea
• Jerome Ngundue, MHSA, BSc. Nuc Med.CNMT, Public Health Preparedness Planner, SNS Warehouse Manager, Preparedness & Response Branch, Center for Health Protection, Arkansas Department of Health
• David Zinyengere, Malaria Vector Control Consultant, Heded Consulting, Zimbabwe
Our panelists will offer insight into the following questions:
1) What are the biggest challenges for controlling cross border malaria transmission?
2) What measures are currently in practice to address these challenges? How successful are these measures?
3) How do we ensure that current work in cross border transmission is sustainable? What challenges the sustainability of control measures?
4) What lessons can we learn from these efforts to scale up control measures? Can these measures be applied to different settings?
5) Is there anything we can learn from the HIV and TB communities regarding the trans-border control of infection?
We look forward to a rich discussion – please join the conversation and share your questions or comments.