Updated on 29 April 2014
But the gains in malaria control, although substantial, could be reversed due to increasing parasite resistance to drugs, mosquito resistance to insecticides and re-introduction of transmission in places where the disease has been eliminated.
The emergence of artemisinin resistance in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam threatens the global achievements in malaria control and elimination. Artemisinin-based combination treatment (ACT) is currently the first line treatment for the most lethal type of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum. Resistance to this drug would compromise the lives of hundreds of thousands of people affected with malaria, and there is an urgent need to invest in ways to contain the spread of resistance to these drugs.
Another danger lies in the fact that the Anopheles mosquitoes, which carry malaria parasites, are increasingly become resistant to insecticides. There is a need to contain the emergence and spread of resistance of Anopheles mosquitoes to insecticides. Moreover, re-introduction of transmission in areas free of malaria is always a threat if surveillance and rapid response are not sustained.
Investments are needed to develop new tools, to conduct operational research to address bottlenecks in malaria control programmes, and to scale-up and ensure rational use of existing interventions. There is also a need to further strengthen health systems and mobilize multisectoral actions to accelerate progress towards elimination of malaria as a public health problem.