Emerging Themes in Malaria Advocacy

Diseases rarely happens in silos, rather, they are affected by their network and environments, created or natural, and influenced by other concurrent diseases and lifestyle factors. The same is true for malaria. Malaria is in a delicate state, oscillating between the spectrums of elimination in entire countries and resurgence in others. Appropriately framing the malaria advocacy narrative can help drive malaria elimination efforts forward with a collaborative mindset. It is also important to keep in mind that building political will helps advance advocacy strategies to help support policy makers to increase government investments to end malaria. 

From the health and healthcare vantagepoint, specific intersectoral approaches include linking malaria with TB, HIV/AIDS, and UHC. This blends healthcare systems, supply chains, delivery of care and innovations of treatment. Priorities for procurement and supply chain management systems along with service delivery innovations continue to be at the crux of fighting malaria.

An environmental approach can also be taken that encompasses climate change to include the intersection of humanitarian responses to both natural and man-made disasters. These events change ecosystems that affect not only disease transmission rates but also the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery. Civil society also has a role to play to ensure that country investments in programs are held accountable, that progress is monitored, and that aid reaches the populations most in need.

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Interwoven within each of these advocacy narratives is the need for continuous and reliable data monitoring as a means to demonstrate return on investment and economic development. Though reports and published data are needed, the power of live data can be used for specific program implementation in the areas that demand it the most. This is not to dissuade current reporting systems but rather to encourage the fluid sharing of data across borders to increase impact. The Global Fund continues to emphasize backing for health systems via technical support.

These umbrella themes can be seen as a way to promote over-arching policies that enable many disease efforts. By encouraging a broader viewpoint, we not only encourage collaboration but also open paths for resources both in funds and in infrastructure not previously linked. It is with this mindset that public health policies can weave in precise strategies for the fight against malaria.