World Malaria Day 2021: Reaching the zero malaria target by 2030
The World Malaria Day on April 25th marks the progress in fighting malaria, highlighting the responsibility we all have to end this disease by 2030. On this day, the world united, urge leaders to step up the fight and get us closer to a malaria-free world within a generation. Today, there is reason to celebrate, as over the past two decades great progress in the fight against malaria has been made, saving more than 7 million lives and preventing over 1 billion malaria cases.
We must protect and accelerate these precious gains, while also learning from the remarkable achievements in combatting COVID-19 like rapid global mobilization and coordination, implementation of new technologies, concerted global funding and political involvement towards common goals. COVID-19 has demonstrated that successful science requires result-oriented collaborative approach across sectors, society and boarders. Malaria elimination is possible if we can follow the same route.
The European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), which started out as the European Malaria Vaccine Initiative, has been actively involved in malaria vaccine development projects for over 20 years. We have supported a diverse portfolio of malaria vaccine candidates by pursuing diverse approaches to tackle the parasite’s complexity and maximize impact. This includes vaccine candidates for different stages of the parasite life cycle (pre-erythrocytic stage, liver stage, blood stage and sexual stage), for different at-risk groups, such as placental malaria, but also multi-stage vaccine candidates that combine several of those approaches. These efforts have been accompanied by numerous supporting initiatives like harmonization, assay validation, training and comparative studies, such as the MIMVaC-Africa project, which is a multilateral initiative to foster the clinical development of effective malaria vaccine candidates in Africa. This region alone was home to 94% of malaria cases and deaths in 2019.
As member of the RBM Partnership, we fully support this year´s theme of World Malaria Day 2021 - "Zero Malaria - Draw the Line Against Malaria”. Vaccines can make a crucial contribution to this ambition, but we will also need political will, better guidance, adequate policies, massive scale-up in effective malaria vector-control, strategic information, clean water, and novel anti-malarial drugs.
For a disease that unfairly takes a child's life every two minutes and puts half the world's population at risk, let's #DrawTheLine against malaria and end it within a generation.
To know more on the latest progress and global commitment to “Reaching the zero malaria target” we invite you to read the report: Zeroing on malaria elimination: Final report of the E-2020 initiative