Global leaders launch “End Malaria Council” to eradicate the disease within a generation

Two of the world’s most outspoken advocates for global health—Bill Gates and Ray Chambers—have launched the End Malaria Council, a group of influential public and private sector leaders committed to eradicating malaria. The Council builds upon the seminal report co-authored by Gates and Chambers in 2015, Aspiration to Action: What will it take to end malaria?, which presented the vision that eradication can be achieved in a generation with sufficient political will, sustained financing, and innovative approaches and tools. Through this new coalition, Gates and Chambers will work with other high-profile leaders to advance the global malaria agenda and drive attention and funding to defeat the disease for good.

The Council’s aim is to ensure malaria eradication remains a top global priority at a pivotal moment when continued momentum in the fight against the disease is critical. Since the year 2000, unprecedented gains have been made in reducing the burden of malaria globally, due in part to an exponential increase in resources. However, in recent years funding for malaria has plateaued, which threatens to stall or even reverse hard-won progress. At the same time that funding has flat-lined, leaders in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have committed to take collective action towards ambitious targets for progressive regional elimination. To stay on track to achieve global and regional reduction milestones, malaria investments will need to more than double from current levels to US $6.4 billion per year by 2020 and triple by 2030.

The End Malaria Council is an avenue for eminent champions of malaria eradication to amplify their voices, leverage their networks, and apply their business and political acumen to galvanize commitment, mobilize resources, and support new innovations for malaria prevention and treatment. The nine world leaders serving as founding members of the Council represent a variety of backgrounds and geographies, in both malaria-endemic regions and donor countries:

  • Bill Gates, Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ray Chambers, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Health in Agenda 2030 and for Malaria
  • Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group
  • H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia
  • Graça Machel, Founder of Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique
  • H.E. Idriss Déby, President of the Republic of Chad and Chairperson of the African Union
  • H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of Tanzania
  • Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank
  • Peter Chernin, Founder of Chernin Entertainment and Co-Chairman of Malaria No More

The launch of the Council coincided with the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland and comes just a month after the release of the World Health Organization’s 2016 World Malaria Report, which underscored the urgent need for strong leadership and increased investment to stay on track to meet targets.

“The next chapter of the fight against malaria starts now,” Gates said in Davos at the launch event. “For the first time in history, we have a roadmap to a world without malaria—where no one has to die from a mosquito bite ever again. With renewed focus, innovation, and new commitments of leadership and funding, we can be the generation to end malaria once and for all.”

The Council will meet semiannually and serve three-year renewable terms on a volunteer basis. Africa is already well represented, and the group has plans to represent all key malaria endemic regions, including Asia and Latin America. The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership will provide strategic guidance, and the two bodies will work in close coordination to lead the broader malaria community in articulating an aggressive advocacy agenda for eradication.