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FROM AMITA'S DESK

Dear colleagues,
 
The APMEN Annual Meeting on 7th September was a wonderful opportunity to bring our malaria community together to discuss progress and continued challenges towards elimination. Convened as part of Malaria Week 2020, the APMEN Annual Meeting embraced this year’s theme of ‘Inclusion. Integration. Innovation.’ and focused on including and integrating the innovative cross-cutting themes of private sector engagement and community-based approaches for malaria elimination and to support broader health systems strengthening, as well. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 did influence the breadth of topics that could be covered in a condensed timeframe.
 
The key themes that emerged through the presentations, Q&A sessions and chat box discussions were highlighted through an
Advocacy Brief as priorities for action at the APLMA Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM). Malaria Week 2020 provided additional opportunities to further deliberate on specific key topics around strengthening surveillance and reporting systems, ensuring adequate financing for health, and enhanced uptake of innovation for malaria elimination through the Malaria Week Dialogues, in the lead up to the SOM.
 
COVID-19 has presented a real opportunity for us to reimagine malaria service delivery in the context of comprehensive and integrated surveillance and reporting systems, integrated vector control and case management, and stronger community engagement for prevention, testing and treatment services. 
 
APMEN and APLMA stand ready to support country partners in a comprehensive manner that brings together technical assistance and capacity strengthening capabilities with political advocacy and resource mobilization support. We stand ready to help our partners within the national malaria programs and look forward to hearing from you.  If you would like to discuss any specific country support opportunities with us, please do get in touch at
info@apmen.org.
 
Best wishes,
Amita

Amita Chebbi 
Senior Director, APMEN Secretariat 

LATEST NEWS
opening remarks
APMEN Annual Meeting kicks off #MalariaWeek2020
 
The APMEN Annual Meeting opened Malaria Week 2020. Over 350 participants attended the virtual event that identified operational challenges and explored best practices in private sector engagement and community-based approaches to malaria elimination in the region. Key challenges for priority action were identified and later conveyed to senior government officials at the APLMA Senior Officials' Meeting. (Read more)
 
'Inclusion. Integration. Innovation.'
#M
alariaWeek2020 goes virtual

Hosted by the Government of Viet Nam, Malaria Week 2020 convened high-level senior government officials and global stakeholders to discuss the progress and challenges related to malaria elimination in the Asia Pacific. The week strategically featured the APMEN Annual Meeting, as well as a series of 'Malaria Dialogues' on Surveillance, Financing and Innovation. It culminated with the APLMA Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) where government officials reaffirm their commitment to eliminating malaria and strengthening health systems to keep the region safe from health threats.
PS report photo
APMEN Private Sector Report launched

The APMEN Annual Meeting saw the launch of 'Engaging the Private Sector to Eliminate Malaria in Asia Pacific: A Rapid Review of Approaches, Tools & Lessons', which aims to provide a framework for national malaria programs to think through the steps involved in developing a private provider engagement plan that is appropriate to their country context and which can accelerate progress towards malaria elimination.
Global Fund report
Results Report 2020
 
A new report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a call to action to urgently invest to protect decades of progress against HIV, TB and malaria that are being derailed as a knock-on effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Read more)
VIRTUAL EVENTS
Options for Asia
New tools to reach outdoor-biting
malaria vectors

The latest edition of the APMEN TechTalks featured some of the options receiving attention as potential useful tools to combat outdoor-biting mosquitoes (Ivermectin, transfluthrin-impregnated products and attractive targeted sugar bait). (Read more ) 
Malaria Gamechangers
Malaria GameChangers:
A Health Innovation Series

Since July, Senior Officials, National Regulatory Authorities, malaria commodities manufacturer and global health partners have gathered to discuss diagnostics for febrile illnesses, vector control tools for Asia Pacific and tools to address P. vivax malaria. The series seeks to advance both health security and malaria elimination in Asia Pacific.
M2030
M2030xCOVID-19 Private Sector Roundtable

The 'M2030xCOVID19 Private Sector Roundtable' brought together leaders from leading Asian businesses and foundations to discuss how the private sector is contributing to malaria elimination and the fight against COVID-19. Held in partnership with the Asia Pacific Malaria Leaders Alliance and the World Economic Forum, the panel of speakers featured M2030 Champions in addition to guest messages from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund.
ASEAN
APMEN joins discussion on
COVID-19 impact in ASEAN

On July 22, the SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute (SDGHI) hosted a webinar that explored existing strategies of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in the ASEAN region and how the COVID-19 pandemic has and is expected to further impact these programs.
NEW INITIATIVES
VivAccess
 
VivAccess is a global initiative co-led by PATH and MMV to support countries to eliminate P. vivax malaria by strengthening the use of current tools and accelerating uptake of new ones to prevent relapse. Since 2019, VivAccess has worked with NMCPs to undertake readiness planning workshops in Myanmar, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Lao PDR and develop vivax roadmaps. Roadmaps are designed to identify where gaps remain for acceleration of improved radical cure within Malaria National Strategic Plans. For more information visit: vivaxmalaria.org or contact: Caroline Lynch (lynchc-consultants@mmv.org) and Spike Nowak (snowak@path.org).
VCAP website
 
The Vector Control in Asia Pacific (VCAP) platform, co-hosted by APLMA and Unitaid, launched its website on the 21st August at the online Malaria GameChangers roundtable on vector control. You can access it at www.vcapnetwork.org. The website is intended as a unique platform to give users a snapshot of information on vector control innovations and policies relevant to the region. Sign up to participate in forum discussions and to receive regular updates.             
ANNOUNCEMENTS
'Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite'
 
'Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite' is an initiative in India that seeks to empower communities and individuals to take simple and proven measures to prevent the spread of malaria and mosquito-borne disease during the monsoon season. (Read more)
Independent Evaluation Report 2020
 
The Regional Malaria CSO Platform would like to express its appreciation to all stakeholders who provided their insights and shared their opinions for this evaluation. Overall, the evaluation concludes the Platform has been effective in its ability to: engage communities and civil society in malaria elimination efforts in the GMS; improve the effectiveness of the RAI investment in the GMS through collective advocacy; facilitate coordination between CSOs and NMCPs and communication and information sharing in some countries; facilitate in-country dialogue meetings, and provide essential training courses that have been useful to malaria elimination initiatives. (Read more)
Policy Roadmap for Improving Access to Radical Cure
 
Thailand is leading efforts to bring about universal access to P. vivax radical cure across the region and is the first country in Asia to register tafenoquine, a single dose radical cure for vivax malaria. (Read more)
Climate Change: A Threat to Malaria Elimination.
Is Asia Pacific Prepared?

Climate change could undermine the progress made to control and eliminate malaria. In partnership with Malaria Consortium and TDR , APLMA and APMEN jointly developed a thematic brief that highlights the link between  climate change and vector-borne diseases . Using malaria to tell the narrative, it lists key actions that policymakers and the public health community can consider in addressing the impact of a changing climate on VBDs. ( Read more ) 
UPCOMING EVENTS 
APMEN TechTalks: Role and status of bednets, indoor residual spraying and insecticide resistance in the Asia Pacific
30 Sep 2020, 2pm GMT+8

Zero Malaria Challenge: How the lessons of the past can inspire progress to end malaria
1 Oct 2020, 9pm GMT+8
 

Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) Annual Meeting 2020 (Virtual)
Theme: ‘Emerging diseases and outbreaks’
13-14 Oct 2020

https://rstmh.org

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 69th Annual Meeting (Virtual)
15-19 Nov 2020
https://www.astmh.org/annual-meeting
 
Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting (JITMM) 2020 Virtual Conference
Theme: “Tropical Disease Control amid the COVID-19 Pandemic”
15-16 Dec 2020

http://www.jitmm.com   
 
3rd International Malaria Vector Surveillance for Elimination (MVSE) Course
1st quarter of 2021, Thailand and India

5th Singapore Malaria Network Meeting (SINGMALNET)
3-5 Feb 2021
Singapore


The 20th International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM) 2021
17-21 Aug 2021
Bangkok, Thailand

https://ictmm2020.org
PUBLICATIONS
Blogs

A need to strengthen medical entomology in Asia Pacific. APMEN Vector Control Working Group 2020.

It's time for a decisive win. New Sarawak Tribune 2020.

Report

Newsletter Issue #4 Aug 2020. Malaria CSO Platform, GMS 2020.

Research articles

Comparison of commercial ELISA kits to confirm the absence of transmission in malaria elimination settings. van den Hoogen LL, et al. Frontiers in Public Health 2020.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of sex-stratified Plasmodium vivax treatment strategies using available G6PD diagnostics to accelerate access to radical cure. Devine A, et al. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2020.
 
Current vector research challenges in the Greater Mekong Subregion for dengue, malaria, and other vector-borne diseases: a report from a multisectoral workshop March 2019. Christofferson RC, et al. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2020.
 
Decreased bioefficacy of long-lasting insecticidal nets and the resurgence of malaria in Papua New Guinea. Vinit R, et al. Nature Communications 2020.

Emergence and clonal expansion of in vitro artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum kelch13 R561H mutant parasites in Rwanda. Uwimana A, et al. Nature Medicine 2020.

Estimating the proportion of Plasmodium vivax recurrences caused by relapse: a systematic review and meta-analysis. RJ Commons, et al. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2020.
 
Evaluation of the effectiveness of topical repellent distributed by village health volunteer networks against Plasmodium spp. infection in Myanmar: a stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial. Agius PA, et al. PLOS Medicine 2020.

G6PD deficiency in malaria endemic areas of Nepal. Marasini B, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.

Identifying and combating the impacts of COVID-19 on malaria. Rogerson SJ, et al. BMC Medicine 2020.

Implementing parasite genotyping into national surveillance frameworks: feedback from control programmes and researchers in the Asia–Pacific region. Noviyanti R, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.

Primaquine alternative dosing schedules for preventing malaria relapse in people with Plasmodium vivax. Milligan R, et al. Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews 2020.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic should not derail global vector control efforts. Seelig F, et al. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2020.
 
The fabric of life: what if mosquito nets were durable and widely available but insecticide-free? Okumu F. Malaria Journal 2020.
 
Towards harmonization of microscopy methods for malaria clinical research studies. Dhorda M, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.

The APMEN Newsletter is a bi-monthly compilation of stories from the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network. The next issue will be on November 23 (Monday) and will receive newsletter items by November 13 (Friday). Kindly send to newsletter@apmen.org.

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