Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer and President of Global Policy & Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlights that eradication of malaria is within reach for the first time in a generation and calls upon Commonwealth ministers to take the lead in eliminating malaria through coordination, collaboration and investment.
The first 15 years of this century have seen dramatic gains in global health and development. The number of people living in extreme poverty (less than US$1 per day) has declined by more than half, 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation and the rate of children dying before their fifth birthday has declined by more than half. What has helped achieve these gains? A tangible development agenda, and collective Millennium Development Goals that spanned borders and stimulated global coordination and action.
The MDGs have now given way to the Sustainable Development Goals, which set the course to ending extreme poverty by 2030. The 17 global goals – ranging from health to gender equality to climate action, to name a few – are interlinked to reflect the interdependencies of progress on the goals and targets. Adopted at the UN General Assembly in September 2015 by the 194 member states, the goals reflect the collective aspirations of the governments and civil society. Through the prism of malaria, we can view success and the opportunity for cross-cutting gains in ending poverty and inequality.
Since 2000, malaria deaths have been slashed by half, from nearly a million per year to 429,000. Within those figures the news gets even better. Thanks to long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs), rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) and the rollout of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), the overall incidence of malaria has also plummeted…
Chief Strategy Officer and President of Global Policy & Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation