The combination of prevention and treatment to fight malaria has yielded unprecedented benefits for patients. From 2000 to 2015, malaria mortality rates fell by 62% around the world1, with an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths in 2015, of which 303,000 among children under 5, averted globally1. These major achievements have substantially contributed to a 41% decline in global malaria incidence since 2000.
Since 2000, the Novartis Malaria Initiative has been actively contributing to the fight against malaria. We have been at the forefront of a change in the treatment of malaria, creating one of the industry’s largest access-to-medicine programs. We help build capacity on the ground to ensure long-term health impact, we partner with organizations to increase access to treatments, and we research and develop next-generation antimalarials.
Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. We will continue to partner with the best institutions and companies and intensify our research efforts to develop efficient compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. But we cannot do this on our own, neither as a company nor as an industry. We need support from politics, technology and academia as well as the public at large, because we can only win this fight together.
Ensuring long-lasting health impact
Malaria elimination is a complex challenge. The combination of prevention, diagnosis and treatment, as well as healthcare facilities and personnel, sound health policies and systems are needed to succeed.
While prevention efforts have had a significant impact, they alone are not sufficient. Treatment remains necessary to eliminate malaria parasites, preventing further transmission of the disease. Further, building capacity to help strengthen healthcare systems in malaria-endemic countries and to improve quality of care is essential for a long-lasting health impact.
We have witnessed remarkable progress in the fight against malaria in the past 15 years – thanks to integrated strategies combining prevention and treatment, as well as efforts from endemic countries in malaria control.
We now need to maintain the progress achieved; this will require sustained efforts. This means that public donors and private companies alike need to continue to scale up funds and Research & Development. These efforts will be essential to achieve the malaria mortality reduction target of 90% by 2030, as advocated by the WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030.