As we enter the new year, our campaign is hopeful that 2023 marks a period of renewed progress in the fight against malaria. Facing continued COVID-19 disruptions and a host of other challenges, the global malaria community managed to prevent further setbacks after cases and deaths spiked during the early stages of the pandemic. And while some of these global challenges persist, there are also so many reasons to feel optimistic. More countries than ever are on the cusp of elimination, global advocacy efforts have helped increase funding and political will to fight malaria around the world, and the pipeline of innovative malaria tools and strategies—from next-generation bed nets and anti-malarials to vaccines and spatial repellents—has never been stronger.
In recent years, the Congolese people have faced vast and repeated displacement due to surging military offensives and ongoing intercommunal violence. This escalating conflict has increased vulnerability to malaria in a country where 60% of all hospital visits are attributed to the disease. In addition, emerging mosquito resistance to pyrethroids (a commonly-used insecticide) poses a major threat to malaria control efforts in the DRC, leaving millions without optimal protection against this endemic.
To take action, United to Beat Malaria is working with UNICEF to distribute 67,814 insecticide-treated bed nets in conflict-afflicted communities in Eastern DRC. These nets are highly effective against all malaria-carrying mosquitos, including those resistant to pyrethroids. This project prioritizes the most vulnerable: young children, pregnant women, and displaced families. Click here to learn more.
Madagascar has faced two years of severe droughts and tropical storms that have interrupted healthcare delivery, caused catastrophic foot shortages, and spiked malaria rates—from 2,866,191 suspected cases in 2019 to 4,571,944 in 2021 (World Malaria Report 2022). Significant shortages of malaria commodities—including bed net, diagnostic tests, and anti-malarial treatments—continue to drive surging malaria rates throughout the island nation.
We’re working with UNICEF to provide rapid diagnostic tests, anti-malarial treatment for children, insecticide-treated bed nets, and malaria awareness campaigns across five particularly vulnerable regions in Madagascar. Click here to learn more.
The ongoing insurgency crisis in northeast Nigeria—considered the world’s longest-running humanitarian emergency—has led to mass displacement, interrupted food supply, and widespread destruction of health facilities. Malaria, however, continues to be the nation’s most lethal threat, accounting for 18% of all recorded deaths in Borno. This year, United to Beat Malaria continues to work with The MENTOR Initiative and Envu to launch indoor residual spraying (IRS) campaigns in displacement camps and host communities across the region. Click here to read more.
Alongside our work in Nigeria, United to Beat Malaria is also supporting malaria projects in displacement camps across northern South Sudan. In recent years, South Sudan has endured severe flooding and sporadic violence, fueling Africa’s worst displacement crisis.
In response, United to Beat Malaria is working with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to provide bed nets, anti-malarial treatments, and other malaria interventions in camps and host communities across northern South Sudan. Click here to learn more.
Latin America and the Caribbean have made tremendous bounds against malaria in this century; Argentina, Paraguay, and El Salvador have all been certified malaria-free with several more countries—Belize, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Suriname—on the cusp. Now, about half of all malaria cases in this region are concentrated in 25 municipalities with limited access to healthcare.
Our campaign continues to support malaria elimination efforts in the region this year, working with the Pan American Health Organization to deliver anti-malarial treatments and diagnostics to communities of greatest need across Latin America. In addition, we continue to work with the Clinton Health Access Initiative to support a network of malaria-focused community health workers in Haiti—the last malaria stronghold in the Caribbean. Learn more: Latin America | Haiti.
This year, we will have our first in-person Leadership Summit and Advocacy Day since 2020. Our Summit—hosted in Washington DC from March 26-28—will bring together over 100 passionate malaria advocates from across the globe to learn, network, and advocate to their members of Congress. Over the years, the persistent advocacy of our Champions has helped strengthen US funding for vital malaria programs, including The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, & Malaria and the President’s Malaria Initiative. The Summit application window has closed, but there will be plenty of opportunities beyond our Summit to take action in 2023. Click here to learn more!
We are excited to launch our second annual Move against Malaria virtual 5k around World Malaria Day (April 25) 2023. Participants can engage in many ways; hosting a 5k run in their community, sharing their participation on social media, or raising awareness and funds for United to Beat Malaria are all ways to participate. Through these efforts, we will engage our global audiences of private sector partners, supporters, and global health champions to unite in the fight against malaria. Click here for more information on how to get involved!