A goal properly set is halfway reached. So said the late Zig Ziglar, who knew a thing or two about lessons for success. Yesterday, not only was a goal set – to bring malaria deaths to near zero in the next 15 years – but we have a definitive plan that maps out what it will take to get us there.
Amid the negotiations taking place at the third international financing for development conference in Addis Ababa, an event – Malaria Financing for a New Era: an Exceptional Case for Investment – saw the presentation of two complementary and compelling plans, laying out technical guidance and charting the investment and collective actions needed to reach the 2030 malaria goals.
The global community has agreed to reduce deaths by 90%, and eliminate the disease in at least 35 countries by 2030.
The World Health Organisation’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership’s Action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016–2030 (Aim) – For a Malaria-free World outline what it’s going to take in terms of resources, targets and joined-up efforts to eliminate this disease once and for all.
Setting this goal – and agreeing on a plan to reach it – matters for many reasons. Not least because the world’s oldest disease still kills a child every minute and robs families, communities and continents of their livelihoods and prosperity.
This goal, while ambitious, is realistic and affordable. Over the past 15 years, we have seen how colossal commitment and funding (with a tenfold increase in international financing since 2000) have shrunk the malaria map, saving more than 6 million lives since 2000 alone.
This commitment and concerted action have more than halved child deaths from the disease and, as the final UN report on the MDGs showed, we have surpassed the MDG malaria target. Some 98 malaria-endemic countries have reversed the incidence of malaria nationally compared to 15 years ago, making this progress one of the greatest successes in the history of public health.