Malaria Elimination Initiative represents at 63rd Annual ASTMH meeting

A wide range of research on malaria elimination was showcased this year at the 63rd Annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) conference in New Orleans on November 2-5. Of note, the Global Health Group's Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) had a strong presence hosting and presenting an array of symposia, sessions, and posters on topics including mass screen and treat, risk mapping, diagnostic methods, the impact of the Global Fund on malaria-eliminating countries and estimated costs to eliminate malaria.

Some of the meeting highlights include two symposia, both co-hosted by Dr. Roly Gosling, MEI Lead, and Dr. Alan Magill, Director of the Malaria Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The first, "Malaria elimination: Targeting high-risk populations," held on November 4th, highlighted strategies to identify and target populations such as migrant laborers or plantation workers that may be at higher risk for malaria, especially in low-endemic countries where infections tend to cluster. On November 5th, a session exploring the question "Is asymptomatic malaria infection truly asymptomatic?" was held, which focused on adverse effects of subclinical infections.

On November 2nd, the MEI and the Malaria Centre of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine convened a side meeting of 50 stakeholders to share updates to the single low-dose primaquine roadmap. The meeting focused on regulatory pathways, development of a data sharing platform, clinical trials, and pharmacology of low-dose primaquine.

The MEI also co-hosted a reception with Malaria No More, "Accelerating to zero: Planning for global malaria eradication" on November 4th. The reception was held after Bill Gates' call to eradicate malaria in his lifetime and his pledge to increase funding for malaria from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by 30%. Against this backdrop, Dr. Pedro Alonso, the Director of the WHO Global Malaria Program gave opening remarks at the reception, emphasizing the importance of the next five years in accelerating actions towards elimination in order to eradicate malaria within a generation. Other expert remarks underscored the progress made against malaria and the need to maintain the gains under a cohesive and aggressive strategy to eliminate malaria in the remaining 98 endemic countries.

See the full schedule of MEI events.