Malaria Consortium's Highlights of the year 2019

We're pleased to share with you some of our highlights from across our organisation in 2019.

Strengthening malaria prevention and surveillance interventions in Ethiopia

In the 2018 World Malaria Report, data from Ethiopia was encouraging. The country is making progress in the fight against malaria, but there is still work to do to strengthen its response.

We started the year with a new project working with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health to strengthen the management and technical capacity of the primary health care unit.

This will help the country to continue implementing impactful malaria control interventions and secure the gains it has made against the disease. In addition, strengthened prevention and surveillance systems will catalyse progress in the future.

Our new UK aid-funded programme to combat malaria in Nigeria

In February, we were delighted to announce the launch of our UK aid funded Support to National Malaria Programme 2 (SuNMaP 2).

Nigeria currently accounts for 25 percent of all malaria cases worldwide, and 19 percent of all deaths from the disease in 2017 – an estimated 82,650 people. Worryingly, the number of cases of malaria in Nigeria increased by more than half a million between 2016 and 2017, even though the disease is a major focus for the federal government.

The project will run until 2023 and follows on from the original SuNMaP project which ended in 2015.

"The burden of malaria in Nigeria cannot be ignored. This preventable, treatable disease is still having dramatic socio-economic effects in Nigeria, claiming thousands of lives every year and draining funds from the economy."

Dr Kolawole Maxwell, Malaria Consortium Programmes Director, West and Central Africa

Catalysing pneumonia research

March saw the first meeting of the Every Breath Counts Research Group. Led by Malaria Consortium in cooperation with the University of Southampton, the group has begun mapping out research priorities for the global pneumonia community and is actively seeking to close knowledge gaps.

This work will serve to invigorate global efforts against the world’s biggest killer of children under five.

Strengthening Uganda's response to malaria

Our Uganda team launched a new programme, in cooperation with UNICEF, supporting the Ministry of Health to implement a project funded by UK aid in 25 districts in mid-northern Uganda, to support efforts to reduce malaria-related morbidity and mortality.

The Strengthening Uganda's response to malaria (SURMa) project is being implemented in eight districts in Acholi, nine in Lango, and eight in Karamoja, running until June 2022.

In March, a film crew visited the team to document some elements of the programme’s focus and what we're hoping to achieve. Watch below.

Connecting rural communities to health systems

In Myanmar, remote communities are often poorly served by the public health system. In a project funded by Comic Relief, Malaria Consortium has trialled solutions to 'fill in the gaps' in healthcare coverage.

After training volunteers to diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses in children under five and screen for malnutrition, Malaria Consortium has been scaling up the integrated community case management approach from three to six townships of Sagaing region.

USAID'S Malaria Action Program for Districts

Malaria Consortium leads USAID's Malaria Action Program for Districts (MAPD) in Uganda.

2019 marked the mid point of the project which aims to improve diagnosis and prevention of malaria in addition to building the capacity at the national and district levels to manage and maintain malaria activities.

On our blog we heard about two of the activities taking place.

or watch some of our videos with the team:

Renewing long-standing partnerships

Malaria Consortium's long-standing partnership with Thailand's Mahidol University was renewed this year.

The shared aims include exchange of information through engagement in joint research activities, symposia and sharing of research information, exchange of expertise through collaborative projects, and health human-resource capacity-building through collaborative training initiatives and programmes.

Malaria Consortium is working within the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) which is mandated to support countries in the Asia Pacific region to achieve their malaria elimination goals.

As a part of this involvement, we were commissioned to develop a web-based resource for the network to host technical tools and resource. The result is the Online Resource Exchange Network for Entomology (ORENE).

Starting a data revolution in Mozambique

One of the biggest factors holding back progress against malaria is the lack of strong surveillance systems, particulalry in Africa.

We were excited to launch a new project in Mozambique, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to strengthen malaria surveillance, improve data quality and increase the use of data for strategic and operational decision-making in Mozambique.

Learn more about the role of surveillance in our new explainer video below.

"For Mozambique to accelerate efforts to reduce its malaria burden, a fit-for-purpose surveillance system is urgently required to provide the backbone for broader malaria control and elimination strategies"

Dr Arantxa Roca-Feltrer, Malaria Consortium's Head of Monitoring and Evaluation

Tackling antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance represents a growing threat affecting populations around the world.

Global misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs mean resistance is increasing; it is already estimated to cause 700,000 global deaths per year, and the UN recently declared that it could kill 10 million people by 2050.

In Bangladesh, we trialled the Community Dialogue Approach in order to engage rural communities around this issue. In July, we shared the below film about the project.

Treating six million children with anti-malaria drugs

Between July and October, Malaria Consortium teams across Burkina Faso, Chad and Nigeria distributed life-saving anti-malaria drugs to around six million children.

Seasonal malaria chemoprevention involves administering four monthly courses of antimalarial drugs during the period of highest risk. This means focusing on preventing malaria in some of those who are most vulnerable to the disease - children under five years - during the rainy season in the Sahel region of Africa. Most malaria illness and deaths occur during this peak malaria transmission, which normally runs from July to October.

The programme is top-rated by GiveWell due to its effectiveness in averting deaths. 2019 is the fourth consecutive year Malaria Consortium has received this top rating. We're already planning our distribution campaign for 2020.

The animation below explains more about how seasonal malaria chemoprevention works.

Presenting our research to the global community

We rounded off the year presenting a cross-section of our work at the 68th annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in Maryland, USA.

Our technical teams from around the world presented research ranging from pneumonia diagnostics to chemoprevention to the maintenance of mosquito nets.

All of the posters and presentations we gave at the meeting are available to download on our website.

It's been a busy year across our projects in Africa and Asia

Thank you for your ongoing support.


Photos by Edward Echwalu, Peter Caton, Sophie Garcia