The African continent continues to be burdened by malaria. Four African countries – Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Tanzania account for almost half of global malaria deaths, and the continent as a whole accounts for 96% of malaria deaths, with children being the most affected.
Global, regional and national strategies to help eliminate the disease are, however, facing challenges. The spread of invasive species such as Anopheles stephensi into sub-Saharan Africa; the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; and the declining effectiveness of tools such as insecticide-treated bed nets could set back hard-won gains.
Investments in research and development (R&D) contributed to these gains in global malaria elimination – averting over 11 million deaths between 2000 and 2021. R&D is now more crucial than ever to address these challenges and bring to the market a new generation of tools and technologies to complement current strategies.
The Platform for Dialogue and Action on Health Technologies in Africa (Health Tech Platform), an initiative of the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), along with its partners Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) and Nouna Health Research Center (CRSN), is hosting a webinar series from 25 April to 20 June 2023 with the overall goal of providing a platform for stakeholders to discuss current and emerging interventions for malaria control, their (potential) effectiveness, and what is needed to end malaria in the continent.
The webinar series will be launched on World Malaria Day 2023 and will be biweekly every Tuesday, 2–3.30 pm EAT.
The webinar series sets out to:
1. Create awareness of malaria prevalence and deaths and the need to further optimise current interventions to eliminate malaria.
2. Create awareness of the ongoing efforts to eliminate malaria, with a focus on funding for research and development of new tools and technologies for malaria control.
3. Identify concrete actions that countries/actors need to take to accelerate progress towards developing new tools and technologies for malaria elimination.
The webinars – as a series of questions posed to experts and practitioners – aim to provide answers to the question: How do we end malaria in Africa?
WEBINAR 1: What will it take to significantly reduce malaria and eliminate the disease from Africa?
The first webinar in the series focuses on the persisting high burden of malaria in Africa. It provides the audience with an overview of why malaria persists in the continent; current efforts to eliminate malaria; the challenges impeding the success of malaria intervention efforts; and the evidence on what it will take to eliminate malaria.
Date: 25 April 2023
Moderator: Dr Prosper Chaki – Chief Executive Director, Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA)
Keynote speaker: Professor Richard Mukabana – Project Director of the Platform for Dialogue and Action on Health Technologies in Africa (Health Tech Platform), African Institute for Development Policy
Hon. Christine Apolot – Deputy chair, Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Malaria (UPFM)
Dr Fredros Okumu – Director of Science, Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Register here: http://bit.ly/404RTEq
WEBINAR 2: What are the threats to eliminating malaria from Africa by 2030, and what can we do about it?
The second webinar delves further into the persisting challenge in eliminating malaria from Africa, in reference to global targets set by the United Nations and the World Health Organization to effectively reduce the malaria burden by 2030. The webinar highlights the immediate threats to malaria elimination and how these can be addressed to stay on course to achieve global targets by 2030.
Date: 9 May 2023
Register here: https://bit.ly/3Aeyjv7
WEBINAR 3: What should African countries do to ensure investments and sustainable financing mechanisms for malaria elimination?
Resources are without doubt vital for malaria control and elimination efforts. The third webinar outlines current levels of investments in malaria globally and in a select malaria-endemic country; the gaps in current funding of malaria and implications for malaria control programmes; and improvements to current financing mechanisms for malaria.
Date: 23 May 2023
Register here: http://bit.ly/3MFalAk
WEBINAR 4: What are the emerging health technologies that can complement current malaria intervention strategies?
Webinar four examines innovations being explored in Africa with potential to eliminate malaria, including vaccines, gene drive mosquitoes, and monoclonal antibodies. It provides the audience with an understanding of their basic mechanisms, and potential in supporting current malaria intervention strategies across the continent.
Date: 6 June 2023
Register here: http://bit.ly/41coslm
WEBINAR 5: How can Africa increase research and capacity on malaria control tools and technologies?
Research and development (R&D) has been the mainstay in the success of malaria elimination efforts. However, the innovations of the last century are declining in their effectiveness as the mosquito vector and parasite adapt. This webinar explores how R&D can be bolstered in Africa to bring the latest innovations for malaria control and elimination to the market.
Date: 20 June 2023
Register here: http://bit.ly/43xcx2M