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FROM AMITA'S DESK

Dear friends,

I am sure the daily evolving situation with the coronavirus outbreak as it plays out in our individual geographies is occupying everyone’s mind and attention. Global response efforts to COVID-19 have highlighted important learnings for the public health community and particularly for those of us working on malaria elimination in the region.

  • Investing in universal health coverage (UHC): The trajectory taken by the pandemic in different countries reflects the deeper story of the investments made by Governments in supporting UHC and strengthening health systems, particularly for disease surveillance, diagnostic testing and treatment, for all. Malaria elimination needs to be situated in the context of health systems strengthening and UHC in all the countries that we work in.
  • Integrated approach to health service delivery: Capacity building for health services needs to take a broad-based approach that goes beyond disease specific areas. As partners that support capacity strengthening work with national programs, we need to think through ways in which our efforts contribute to broader health systems strengthening, beyond malaria, in our focus countries.
  • Cross-border collaboration: The last few months have again brought home the fact that diseases know no borders. National programs need platforms that allow for sharing of data and information, particularly during times of crisis. The lesson here is that we should not wait to build these platforms and need to develop ongoing processes for cross-border collaboration.

 
These are challenging times and we are all in the process of adapting to the new normal. Some APMEN meetings that were planned for this quarter are being rescheduled to later in the year or moving to online meetings. We look forward to hearing from you and exploring ways to continue interacting and collaborating remotely, including through ORENE, our online platform for vector control.

Thank you,
Amita

Amita Chebbi 
Senior Director, APMEN Secretariat 

APMEN BLOGS
Vanuatu Case Study 
 
The Vanuatu Ministry of Health (MoH) has published a case study on its experience with eliminating malaria from Tafea Province in November 2017. The case study highlights the strong political commitment, active community ownership, enhanced implementation capacity at the provincial level, adequate funding and effective partnerships, that played a role in making Tafea malaria-free. (Read more)
Stronger RBM and APMEN linkages for malaria elimination 
 
The APMEN VCWG shared its experiences and flagship programs at the 15th annual meeting of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria VCWG. The two working groups seek to strengthen collaboration at the implementation level and continue sharing each other’s insights and experiences. (Read more)
APMEN ACROSS Surveys 
 
The APMEN Vivax Working Group continues to support the APMEN ACROSS Surveys aiming to identify populations and individuals at risk of malaria and drug-induced hemolysis and evaluating novel diagnostics. (Read more)
The 6th Molecular Aspects of Malaria Conference
Attracting over 450 delegates from around the world, MAM2020 is a major international conference for malaria researchers, largely focused on cutting-edge discovery research with the mission of developing novel interventions to reduce the global burden of malaria. (Read more)
Community Consultations for RAI3
 
The Regional Malaria CSO platform has led community consultations in the Greater Mekong Subregion to collect inputs and recommendations from community representatives and civil society organizations for the RAI3 funding request preparations in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. (Read more)
Women and Public Health 
 
To mark International Women's Day, APMEN and APLMA partnered with UN Women, SPARK! Philippines and the University of the Philippines Manila College of Public Health to discuss gender equality and public health. Marvi Rebueno-Trudeau of Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc., an APMEN Founding Partner Institution, highlighted the important role of women in the successful malaria elimination efforts in the Philippines. (Read more)
ENSURE Project contends for 2019 Newton Prize Award
 
Dr. Effie Espino was one of the five Filipino scientists nominated for the 2019 Newton Prize Award for the RITM-LSHTM team’s outstanding work in the Newton-funded ENSURE Project. (Read more)
UPCOMING EVENTS 
Science of Eradication: Malaria
21-26 Jun 2020, Swiss Tropical Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland
https://scienceoferadication.org

19th International Congress on Infectious Diseases (ICID)
NEW DATES: 10-13 Sep 2020, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
https://www.icid.isid.org
 
The 20th International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM)
20-24 Sep 2020, Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC), Bangkok, Thailand
https://ictmm2020.org

5th Singapore Malaria Network (SINGMALNET) Meeting
NEW DATES: 21-23 Oct 2020, Nanyang Executive Centre, Singapore
More info 
 
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 69th Annual Meeting
15-19 Nov 2020, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
https://www.astmh.org/annual-meeting
MALARIA STORIES
Philippines on track to eliminate malaria by 2030 - WHO
 
According to a World Health Organization official, the Philippines can eliminate malaria before its 2030 target. (Read more)
PUBLICATIONS
Research articles

Evaluating malaria programmes in moderate- and low-transmission settings: practical ways to generate robust evidence. Ashton RA, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.
 
From malaria control to elimination within a decade: lessons learned from Timor Leste, a newly independent country. Yapabandara AMGM, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.
 
Performance of the Access Bio/CareStart rapid diagnostic test for the detection of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ley B, et al. PLOS Medicine 2019.  
 
The importance of vector control for the control and elimination of vector-borne diseases. Wilson AL, et al. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2020.
 
Triple artemisinin-based combination therapies versus artemisinin-based combination therapies for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria: a multicentre, open-label, randomised clinical trial. van der Pluijm RW, et al. Lancet 2020.
 
Using health facility-based serological surveillance to predict receptive areas at risk of malaria outbreaks in elimination areas. Surendra H, et al. BMC Medicine 2020.
 
Vivax malaria in pregnancy and lactation: a long way to health equity. Brummaier T, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.
 
Why is WHO failing women with falciparum malaria in the first trimester of pregnancy? McGready R, et al. Lancet 2020.

The APMEN Newsletter is a bi-monthly compilation of stories from the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network. The next issue will be on May 18 (Monday) and will receive newsletter items by May 8 (Friday). Kindly send to newsletter@apmen.org.

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