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MALARIA: Study shows China model can be used to fast-track malaria elimination in Africa

July 15, 2022
MALARIA: Study shows China model can be used to fast-track malaria elimination in Africa
A snip from the BMC journal with an insets of Ifakara Health Institute seasoned researcher, Dr. Salim Abdulla, who contributed to the study and publication. GRAPHIC | IFAKARA/Coms.

“The practices from China’s malaria control and elimination efforts could be leveraged to fast-track malaria elimination efforts in Africa,” a recent study, which aimed to assess China’s journey toward malaria elimination, has revealed.

Ifakara Health Institute seasoned researcher, Dr. Salim Abdulla – along with colleagues from various institutes in China, the USA, Switzerland, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia and Burkina Faso – contributed to the study, which was first published on the BMC Journal on May 16, 2022.

On June 30, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) certified China, malaria-free – a possibility that could also extend to Africa in the near future. Despite the stagnant progress in both cases and death of malaria reported in Africa since 2014, there is also significant progress made in malaria control and elimination efforts in the region during the past 20 years.

“Over 60% of deaths caused by malaria has been reduced in the endemic African countries under the support of the international players such as RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the USA President’s Malaria Initiative,” the scientists point out in the study.

“The practices from China’s malaria control and elimination efforts could be leveraged to fast-track malaria elimination efforts in Africa, which makes it possible that China’s journey of malaria elimination extends to Africa,” say the scientists who also urge: the “China government should concert the resources from different domestic stakeholders and international partners to develop the sustainable anti-malaria programmes aligning with the existing national and local systems in Africa setting.”

China’s journey toward malaria elimination follows 70 years of relentless efforts including anti-malaria campaigns which are divided into 5 phases – Phase I began in 1949, Phase V in 2010 and continues to date.

In the study, the scientists also shared China’s major experiences which African countries can adapt toward malaria control and elimination. These experiences include: (i) Country leadership and whole-of-government approach; (ii) Mass campaign; (iii) Tailored interventions; (iv) Pilot research before scaling up; (v) Adaptive management and regional alignment of joint control; and (vi) Professional resources and grassroots anti-malaria network.

The study, headlined “Could China’s journey of malaria elimination extend to Africa?” was funded by China–Africa cooperation project on malaria control and the programme of the Chinese Center for Tropical Diseases Research.

You may read the article in full here: Could China’s journey of malaria elimination extend to Africa? | Infectious Diseases of Poverty | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)