Progress in reducing the world’s malaria burden has plateaued in recent years, after fifteen years of progressive reductions that resulted in an overall 50% decline in burden and deaths. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the global malaria strategy and for the human and financial resources and the delivery of essential malaria services within malaria-endemic countries.
In 2021, Harvard University’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe Initiative (under the direction of Professor Dyann Wirth) has convened a global engagement focused on “Rethinking Malaria Strategy in the Context of COVID–19” in partnership with the World Health Organization. This project seeks to take stock—What lessons have we learned from earlier successes with malaria that apply to our current context? Where have our approaches fallen short? What are the most important next steps in addressing global malaria?
The goal of “Rethinking Malaria Strategy in the Context of COVID–19” is to identify novel ‘game-changing’ approaches to malaria, through the activities of three working groups and a global advisory committee.
Professor Reich has served as co-chair, with Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe (former Vice President of Uganda), of the project’s Working Group on Rethinking Malaria Governance. Other members of this group include: Jesse B. Bump (Harvard); Nii Ayite Coleman (Ghana); Anya L. Guyer (USA); Kelechi Ohiri (Nigeria); Jimmy Opigo (Uganda), Ravindra Rannan-Eliya (Sri Lanka).
The Working Group has produced six background papers related to Rethinking Malaria Governance available via Harvard’s central, open-access research repository (individual links provided here):
Additional information on “Rethinking Malaria Strategy in the Context of COVID–19” can be found on the project website: