On Monday, 25 April people across the globe took part in a wide range of activities to mark World Malaria Day. In Oxford, leading malaria researchers from across the University of Oxford and its overseas Units, came together to discuss the complexity of the malaria challenge, share aspects of the their multi-disciplinary research, and examine the crucial role of collaboration in coordinated efforts to eliminate malaria.
The event was chaired by Prof Kevin Marsh, Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford and Chair of the WHO Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC). He opened the session by highlighting progress made in the fight against malaria, an illness caused by several species of Plasmodium parasites. He reminded the audience that while we think of malaria as a global health challenge, it's not an equally distributed problem. Looking at the situation 10-15 years ago, mortality was very high, but a massive investment since the turn of the century has helped to drive a real revolution: malaria mortality rates fell by 60% globally and by 66% in Africa.
While this is tremendous progress, Prof Marsh emphasised that we need to be realistic. We're facing several real threats to these gains including drug resistance, insecticide resistance, and the need for increased funding. There's no point in trying to eliminate malaria unless we address these challenges.
Dr Katherine Battle (Malaria Atlas Project) - Watch video
Topic: P. vivax – the neglected parasite – mapping the challenge
Learn more about the Malaria Atlas Project
Prof Philippe Guérin (WWARN) - Watch video
Topic: Pooled analyses – gathering large data sets to improve malaria drug efficacy and patient treatment outcomes
Learn more about the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network
Prof Nick White (Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit) - Watch video
Topic: Malaria and drug resistance – confirming and responding to ACT resistance in SE Asia
Learn more about the Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit
Dr Sumi Biswas (Jenner Institute) - Watch video
Topic: A malaria vaccine – our progress on the development of a life-saving vaccine
Learn more about the Jenner Institute
Prof Dominic Kwiatkowski (MalariaGEN) - Watch video
Topic: How can genomics help to end malaria for good?
Learn more about how we are using genomics to fight malaria