Endemic countries in South America meet to discuss new tools for malaria elimination
Ministry of health representatives and researchers from Brazil, Colombia, and Peru met on October 27 and 28 with officials from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); the Inter-American Development Bank; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discuss Plasmodium vivax malaria elimination efforts in the region. The event was part of the VivAccess initiative, led by PATH and Medicines for Malaria Venture.
P. vivax malaria affects 7.5 million people in the world and represents 75 percent of malaria cases in Latin America. The P. vivax malaria parasite can stay dormant in the liver, causing multiple relapses from a single mosquito bite and thus creating a challenge for malaria control efforts.
The virtual event coincided with Malaria Day in the Americas, which was celebrated on October 28 this year. The event sought to promote collaboration on regional malaria elimination efforts, and to explore the potential of new tools to help address this major public health issue.
“We at MMV are delighted and honored to be part of the high-level discussions on malaria elimination in Latin America taking place on this year’s Malaria Day in the Americas,” said Dr David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. “Relapsing malaria takes an untold toll on the individuals, communities and countries affected. It is hoped that the availability and roll-out of the first ever single-dose medicine for relapsing malaria, tafenoquine, developed by GSK and MMV, will be a key tool in reducing that toll”.