Global Health Leaders To Exchange Ideas at Malaria Conference
About 50 government officials, nongovernmental organization leaders, agency chiefs and researchers will gather Wednesday at the Wilton Park Conference to collaborate for a conference with the theme: "Malaria: Getting to Zero," Nigeria's Vanguard reports. According to Vanguard, the annual Wilton Park conference typically focuses on health care in developing counties. The Global Health Group of University of California-San Francisco's Global Health Sciences collaborated to organize the conference.
The conference aims to bring stakeholders together to share experiences, lessons and ideas for future collaboration. In addition, the conference will allow leaders the opportunity to exchange knowledge about malaria program implementation and sustainability. The meeting also will emphasize a three-part strategy for malaria elimination. The first part consists of aggressive efforts to address malaria in high-burden regions using all available interventions. The second part aims to eliminate malaria progressively, moving country by country to control the disease. Finally, the third stage will involve research to improve malaria drugs, diagnostic tools and other technologies. The third stage also could involve the development of a potential malaria vaccine. According to Vanguard, stakeholders will measure progress toward the "Getting to Zero" goal in different ways depending on a region's malaria endemicity. High-burden regions can meet the "zero" target by reducing malaria deaths -- particularly deaths among young children -- to near zero. In addition, less-endemic regions can meet the "zero" target by eliminating malaria transmission and contributing to malaria-free regions.
Conference participants will include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Ray Chambers, United Nations special envoy for malaria; Richard Feachem, former executive director of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Hiroki Nakatani, assistant director-general of the World Health Organization; Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete; and health ministers from several countries (Vanguard, 4/14).