Who We Are / What We Do
APLMA is an affiliation of Asian and Pacific heads of government formed to accelerate progress against malaria and to eliminate it in the region by 2030.
Dr Nafsiah Mboi leads strategic priority-setting for APLMA and guides engagement in global health diplomacy and country-level political engagement. Dr Mboi has more than 40 years’ experience in national and global public health, including as Minister of Health for Indonesia, Chair of the board of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as six years as Secretary of Indonesia's National AIDS Commission and a full career as a civil servant in the Ministry of Health.
While malaria was once one of the world’s biggest killers, its burden is now much reduced. Yet still today, 200m people develop the disease each year and over two billion people in the Asia Pacific are at risk of infection.
Despite these alarming numbers, the campaign against malaria is a global health success story. The Asia Pacific region is on target to achieve a World Health Assembly Goal of a 75% reduction in the number of cases and deaths between 2000 and 2015. Intensive efforts have already averted more than 100,000 deaths in the region since 2000.
Following this success, it may seem timely to shift resources to address other issues. Unfortunately that simple logic is dangerously wrong. We need to go the final mile against malaria or we risk a malaria resurgence that will undermine what has been achieved to date. Recent progress has been due to a concerted effort and more resources. Less of either risks resurgence of the disease.
We are particularly at risk now because some of our best tools – malaria medicines and insecticides – are losing their effectiveness. A growth in resistant strains of malaria will increase the number of malaria cases and deaths significantly.
Experts agree the best strategy involves addressing malaria by strengthening health systems so they are better able to manage malaria – along with other health threats.
APLMA is a high level political advocacy platform established to accelerate political commitment, mobilize country and regional action, and track progress to reduce malaria in line with global targets. APLMA also aims to support efforts to eliminate resistance to the front line malaria drug, artemisinin.
The Mission of the secretariat is to translate this strong political commitment into action. The APLMA envisions The Asia Pacific Region free of Malaria and reduced risk from other communicable diseases.
Asia Pacific leaders created APLMA to bolster existing efforts to defeat malaria. The Alliance is unique in two specific ways:
The Alliance recognizes and complements country efforts led by national governments, as supported by the World Health Organization. It also acknowledges the large number of existing organizations working to reduce and eliminate malaria. APLMA facilitates high level engagement on the building blocks for malaria elimination, including research, policy and program coordination, regulatory collaboration, finance and governance.
APLMA has supported policy action through two expert taskforces focused on: Improving access to quality malaria medicines and other technologies (such as rapid diagnostic tests, long lasting bed nets and insecticides); and Regional Malaria Financing.
Task force recommendations culminated in the joint proposal to the 2014 East Asia Summit that leaders adopt the goal of an Asia Pacific free of malaria by 2030.
Dr Mboi is a medical doctor specialized in pediatrics, and also has a degree in public health. Her professional career spanned 40 years as an Indonesian civil servant with the Ministry of Health. Her medical career in Indonesia has included service in some of the country’s poorest rural communities as well as involvement in development of national policy and plans. More recently she served for six years as the Secretary of the National AIDS Commission (2006–2012), prior her term as Minister of Health (2012–2014).
Dr Mboi’s international service has included Board Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2013–2015) and several years as Director of the World Health Organization department of Gender and Women’s Health (1999–2002). She has been actively engaged in the fields of human rights, women’s and gender issues, HIV and AIDS, and child rights, including as Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Ms Julianne Cowley is the Assistant Secretary of the Health Policy Branch at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has also worked in human resources, partnerships policy, and for the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development. Julianne was a founding board member of the Ayui Foundation (Thailand) and served on the Board of Lifeline Canberra. For several years, Ms Cowley worked for the Australian Prime Minister's Community Business Partnership. Prior to international development, she worked in indigenous education and has degrees in business administration, education, communications and music, and is an accredited partnership broker.
Dr Altaf Lal has over three decades’ experience in infectious disease research, vaccines and immunization, biotechnology, global health, product safety and health policy matters. He has served as the Director of US Food and Drug Administration India Office, CEO Hilleman Labs, US Health Attaché and Regional Representative for South Asia at the US Embassy in India. He also served as Chief of the Malaria Vaccine Section at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He was also recently inducted as Board Member for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
Professor Pang is an academic and expert on arboviruses and other tropical diseases. He has a special interest in infectious diseases, genomics and global health, health research systems, global health governance, and linkages between research and policy. He holds a PhD in immunology from ANU. Previously, Professor Pang was Director, Research Policy and Cooperation at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland and Professor of Biomedical Sciences, at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In January 2006, Dr Rodgers took leadership of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in the role as Director-General, a position he held until 2014. Dr Rodgers trained as a medical practitioner, specialising in anaesthesia. He also holds a degree in health administration. Before joining SPC in 1996, as Director of Programmes in Noumea, he held the position of Under-Secretary for Health Care in the Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Dr Rodgers was appointed to the role of Deputy Director-General of SPC in 1998. He was named Senior Deputy Director-General in 2000, a position he held up to the time of his appointment as Director-General. He is now an adviser on development in Pacific island countries.
Ruby Shang is a former Senior Manager, Advisor and Asia Director at the Clinton Foundation from 2003, establishing the Health Access Initiative in seven countries (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) and the Climate Change Initiative in 11 cities.
Richard Moore has served as Australia’s Alternate Executive Director on the Asian Development Bank Board, worked as a ministerial adviser and overseen Australia’s aid programmes across Asia. He was an AusAID Deputy Director General, Program Committee Chair and Senior Gender Advocate 2008–2011. He also served as Senior Adviser to the Myanmar Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development (2012–13), helping the country’s international re-engagement. He was a Myanmar Election Observer in 2015 and conducted a major review of Myanmar aid coordination in 2016. Richard currently serves on the Board of ChildFund Australia. He has degrees in economics, education and international development. His main research interest is the role of development cooperation in international relations.
Mr. Edmund Tang has over 25 years of audit, due diligence, and senior management experience in the United Kingdom, China (Hong Kong), and Singapore. He is a Fellow of the following: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and CPA, Australia. Moreover, he is also a Non-practising Member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and Member of the Singapore Institute of Directors. Mr. Tang currently holds a diverse board portfolio of Singapore private limited companies in different industries. Until November 2015, he was on the board of a main-board listed company in Singapore as an Independent, non-executive director and Chairman of the Audit Committee. Mr. Tang received a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Leeds.
Dr Ben Rolfe is Executive Director and CEO of the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance Secretariat. Ben was Formerly Lead Senior Specialist for the Pacific at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has more than 20 years’ experience in supporting health initiatives across 30 countries. His expertise focuses on health policy, systems strengthening and financing. Ben is currently based in Singapore, having previously lived and worked for long periods in the Philippines, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Tanzania, Australia, Nigeria and Eritrea. Dr Rolfe holds a Masters in Public Health and PhD from the University of Wales, and is a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health Medicine.
Dr Ben Rolfe is Executive Secretary of the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance, the Secretariat of which is hosted by Asian Development Bank. Formerly Pacific Lead Health Advisor at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ben has more than twenty years’ experience in supporting health initiatives across 30 countries. His experti...Full Information
A chemist by training, Jeff has 25 years experience leading clinical research, education and advocacy programs in malaria and HIV. The focus of Jeff’s work in the past decade has been building capacity and advocating for sustainable malaria and HIV drug resistance management and surveillance systems in Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining AP...Full Information
Ahmer Akhtar is a senior Manager of Health Policy, Governance and Systems Strengthening Programs, with over 15 years’ experience in diverse geographic regions including South-East Asia, UK, Africa, Middle East, and Australia. Previous to APLMA he was the team leader for the Australian Indonesian partnership for Health Systems Strengthening, h...Full Information
Prior to joining APLMA, Patrik Silborn was Head of the Private Sector Engagement Department in the External Relations Division of the Global Fund. In 2016, the Department secured contributions of more than US$850M from corporations, foundations and high-net worth individuals for the period of 2017-19. Patrik also led the Global Fund’s Innovat...Full Information
Geoff is a senior Health and Development Executive with proven success managing major healthcare reform in complex and challenging environments globally. Geoff has provided support and direction in strategic implementation of national healthcare plans with a focus on health service delivery, legislation, policy development and communicable diseases...Full Information
Christopher Hilton is a skilled communications, media and public affairs leader with more than 15 years of experience in corporate, government and not-for-profit communications. He understands the sometimes precarious intersection between the media, corporate priorities and the legislative process. This includes extensive knowledge in how policy is...Full Information
Rima Shretta has over 14 years of experience in global health and development in more than 20 countries spanning several regions in support of malaria programs. Her expertise focuses on health policy, systems strengthening and financing to improve access to health in low and middle income economies. She is currently the Policy and Financing Lead at...Full Information
Marie has over five years of project management and research experience in access to medicines, public health policy and global health governance with a specific focus on Southeast Asia. She has worked in various countries including Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Marie is currently finalizing her PhD...Full Information