The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 18 April 2018 presents an exceptional opportunity to convene a Global Malaria Summit and put the world on the path towards ending malaria for good. Commonwealth Heads of State working with business leaders, the research and development community and civil society agreed to new initiatives to deliver the tools, data and innovation needed to accelerate progress in a profound way that will put us on firmly on the path to elimination.
Since 2000 the international community has cut malaria deaths by over 60%, saving over 6.8 million lives. Cases were cut by 37% between 2000 and 2015, helping to unlock the economic potential of many impoverished communities and countries. Yet despite progress, a disease that costs less than $1 to diagnose and treat will kill nearly half a million people this year. In 2015 there were over 212 million cases and 429,000 deaths from malaria. Coverage of key preventions is still insufficient; in 2015, 43% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa was not covered by either bed-nets or indoor residual spraying (IRS), 69% of eligible pregnant women did not receive chemoprevention and 36% of children with fever were not taken for care. The increasing emergence of drug-resistant forms of malaria and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes threatens hard-won progress to date.
The Commonwealth represents 2.4 billion people, 90% of whom live in malaria-endemic countries. Many have populations where over 90% are at risk of malaria, including Nigeria and India, home to 180 million and 1.3 billion people respectively. Some members have successfully eliminated malaria, such as Sri Lanka (declared free in 2016), and others have elimination in their sights: Malaysia hopes to eliminate by 2020. Many Commonwealth Heads of Government are part of regional networks aimed at ending malaria, and all Commonwealth Health Ministers have committed their countries through WHO resolutions to eliminate malaria within their borders and across their regions.
Vanuatu is also member of Commonwealth