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Accelerated R&D key to eliminating malaria -WHO

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The WHO said accelerated Research and Development (R&D) in new tools for malaria prevention and treatment is key if the world is to eradicate the disease in the foreseeable future.

According to information in WHO’s official website, today, less than one per cent of funding for health R&D investment goes to developing tools to tackle malaria.

WHO also soareheads the urgent need for progress to advance universal health coverage and improve access to services, and better surveillance to guide a more targeted malaria response.

It said that the findings emerged in a report from WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication (SAGme).

According to Dr Marcel Tanner, Chairperson of the SAGme, efforts should be geared toward effective strategies to effectively tackle the malaria scourge.

“To achieve a malaria-free world we must reinvigorate the drive to find the transformative strategies and tools that can be tailored to the local situation.

“Business as usual is not only slowing progress, but it is sending us backwards,” he said.

He added that the group had published the executive summary of its report ahead of a WHO-hosted forum on “Rising to the Challenge of Malaria Eradication” to be held in Geneva on 9 September 2019.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said that a malaria-free world would be a great feat for public health.

“Freeing the world of malaria would be one of the greatest achievements in public health, and with new tools and approaches we can make this vision a reality,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that SAGme is composed of 13 leaders and scientists representing a range of disciplines and geographies.

They are supported by representatives from WHO collaborating centres, WHO staff and other key stakeholders.

Over the past three years, the SAGme has considered the biological, technical, financial, socio-economic, political and environmental factors that underpin malaria.

Its final executive summary presents a set of findings and recommendations to WHO.

KAE/SH

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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