Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)

Global Health Group calls for P. Falciparum elimination in Greater Mekong subregion

29 July 2014

Researchers at the Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative and partner institutions recently published a commentary in Malaria Journal, entitled The challenge of artemisinin resistance can only be met by eliminating Plasmodium falciparum malaria across the Greater Mekong Subregion. The commentary argues for complete elimination of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite as a more efficient strategy to battle resistance to artemisinin-based antimalarials in the Greater Mekong sub-region. The researchers assert that elimination would be preferable to the current resistance containment strategy for three main reasons: first, elimination of P. falciparum aligns with current national and regional support for malaria elimination; second, mobile populations and cross border transmission will be persistent challenges to a containment strategy; and third, enhancing elimination operations, especially surveillance systems, must be built at the national level and not limited to local foci. Aggressive implementation of P. falciparum elimination strategies throughout the region can stall resistance and will accelerate regional elimination efforts.