From the approval of Tafenoquine, a new drug to treat relapsing malaria, to a historic commitment to cut malaria cases in half over the next five years, the global malaria community made major strides in 2018 to make malaria history. Here are ten memorable moments from across the PATH malaria portfolio this year.
Lighting the way toward elimination
March 6 — A common tool used for malaria vector surveillance, CDC light traps are often used to catch and collect mosquitoes inside of people’s homes. Here, a vector control supervisor at the mosquito lab in Zambezia Province, Mozambique tests the charge in the batteries needed to operate the traps before traveling to the field. During the rainy season, a single CDC light trap can collect a hundred or more mosquitoes in one night. The Next Generation IRS (NgenIRS) project at PATH partners with the PMI VectorLink Project and other national malaria control programs to evaluate the epidemiologic and entomologic impact and cost effectiveness of third-generation insecticides used for indoor residual spraying.
A vaccine for malaria elimination?
April 15-20 — More than 40 PATH staff participated in the 7th Annual Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan African Conference in Dakar, Senegal. Here, Scott Gordon, Director of the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme for PATH presents on the first pilot implementation of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine which will begin next year in parts of Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.
A historic commitment to #endmalaria
April 19-20 — Governments, the private sector, and NGOs made a historic commitment pledging $3.8 billion to support efforts to halve the number of malaria cases in Commonwealth countries over the next five years at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. At the Malaria Summit London, held on the eve of CHOGM, Bill Gates gave a keynote address that included a visualization produced in collaboration with PATH staff and highlighted the Alere™ Malaria Ag Pf, a new highly sensitive test brought to market with the support of PATH, as an example of tools to support elimination.
Using data for decision-making
May 2 — Litia Mbanga explains to Neal Myrick, Global Head of the Tableau Foundation, how the Visualize No Malaria, a collaborative initiative between PATH, Tableau, Alteryx, DataBlick, DigitalGlobe, Exasol, Mapbox, Slalom, and Twilio has impacted his work as the malaria focal point person for Chikankata District in Zambia.
Building momentum toward a malaria-free Africa
July 2 — The Zero Malaria Starts with Me, a malaria advocacy campaign co-founded by PATH in Senegal, was launched across Africa by the African Union Commission and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. The campaign aims to spread awareness to and engage citizens at all levels of society and equips countries with a toolkit that supports the many facets of malaria campaign planning.
A radical cure approved
July 20 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tafenoquine, a single-dose drug to radically cure a P. vivax, a strain of malaria that’s particularly hard to cure. Before taking tafenoquine, patients must be tested for G6PD deficiency to see if they will respond well to the drug. PATH’s Diagnostics team is supporting development, validation, and registration of affordable, easy-to-use, point-of-care G6PD tests suited for malaria-endemic countries. The STANDARD G6PD produced by SD Biosensor (pictured here) is the most advanced of these tests.
Forming new partnerships
August 21 — PATH CEO Steve Davis shakes hands with Zambia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chiluyfa in Beijing at the High-Level Meeting of China-Africa Health Cooperation. During the trip, Fosun Pharma donated $240,000 worth of medicine to Zambia’s Ministry of Health for use in the country’s upcoming mass drug administration campaign.
Stronger markets meet health needs
November 9 — PATH’s Market Dynamics team, with partners Medicines for Malaria Venture and Global Health Strategies, visit a central warehouse in Iquitos, Peru to learn about the country’s procurement and supply chain systems. PATH conducted market landscape research in nine countries to better understand all the factors at play when introducing new products for safe radical cure of P. vivax malaria, including the G6PD diagnostic test. PATH will use knowledge learned from market research to inform the creation of product introduction strategies in 2019.
Turning the tide
November 19 — The World malaria report 2018 (WMR) shows malaria cases are on the rise. The “High burden to high impact” response, launched alongside the WMR, aims to turn the tide by building on landmark commitments from the global community in 2018. Dr. Larry Slutsker, Program Leader for Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases at PATH, consulted on the development of the response plan.