Bangladesh has made significant progress against malaria: A reduction of more than 50% in malaria cases and 54% in related deaths since 2010. However, about 17 million people still at risk from the disease, Bangladesh has a long way to go until elimination.
New plan for malaria elimination
To ensure that the country remains on track to eliminate malaria by the regionally adopted goal of 2030, the Bangladesh Government has developed a new National Strategic Plan 2017–2021. The revised strategy has been drafted to ensure alignment with the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria (2016–2030). This will also greatly contribute towards overall national development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As part of the new plan, Bangladesh aims to achieve a “malaria-free Bangladesh by 2030”. To achieve this, the country sets a target of five related objectives, as follows.
Tackling ongoing issues
“More than 80% of resources are going to noncommunicable diseases in Bangladesh. All of us, we are working and fighting for malaria, so this is a challenge. If we really want to eliminate [malaria], we have to put focus on those in the highest policy level and engage with them to invest more, considering the elimination needs.”
Dr. M.M Aktaruzzaman, Deputy Programe Manager, Malaria and Vector-Borne Disease Control Unit, Directorate General of Health Service, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh
The new plan focuses on targeting the main challenges over the coming five years, by addressing key priorities for ‘closing the gaps’ in malaria control in the country: