APLMA and the DT Families Foundation signed memorandum of understanding this week that will make a tangible difference to eliminating malaria for good in Thailand.
Between 2000 and 2015, the world made remarkable progress in reducing malaria, with incidence down by 37% and deaths by 62%. In Thailand, the incidence of malaria fell by about 65% between 2010 and 2016. Thirty-five Thai provinces were recently declared malaria-free, moving the country nearer to its national malaria elimination target of 2025.
But global progress is stalling. According to the World malaria report 2017, worldwide malaria cases in 2016 were estimated at 216 million, up five million from the previous year. Emerging forms of drug-resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion threaten a resurgence in malaria-related deaths, which would cause serious social and economic impacts and strain healthcare systems.
“This must be a wake-up call that our previous success is at risk and that the malaria control strategies of the past will not be as effective in the future,” said Dr Benjamin Rolfe, APLMA CEO. “Eliminating malaria requires greater ingenuity and innovation – such as new medicines and insecticides – but also requires diverse sectors to come together to take the fight to where the disease still lingers.”
In Thailand, malaria transmission persists mainly in remote forested regions and along international borders. Communities in these areas feel the spiral of negative impacts from the disease.
“Many vulnerable families are already hit the hardest by lack of access to healthcare and education,” said Mrs Thippaporn Ahriyavraromp, Chairperson of the DT Families Foundation. “Taking malaria out of the equation in these hard-to-reach areas will significantly improve the lives of thousands of vulnerable people and will improve our ability to fight the emergence of malarial drug resistance.”
The DT Families Foundation is a private philanthropic initiative by Mr Dhanin and Khunying Tawee Chearavanont and their families. The foundation is focused on education, health and the environment, and is dedicated to promoting a healthy society and sustainable world where all are actively engaged with full potential and compassion towards one another.
The new partnership is a natural fit: APLMA’s mandate is to help end malaria in the region; DT Families Foundation’s mission centres on access to healthcare and education.
“Our agreement today marks the start of a fruitful collaboration that will mobilize resources and raise awareness about the importance of eliminating malaria in Thailand,” added Dr Rolfe. “One of our first initiatives is ‘M2030’, a unique partnership that brings leading corporations and individuals across Asia under a joint brand to work together towards ending the disease.”
The two parties to this new agreement may be driven by different priorities, but they share an overall goal for the partnership.
“Any initiative can only make positive changes when the welfare of the people and the needs of society at large are placed at the top of the agenda by any organization, be it public, private, or third sector,” said Mrs Ahriyavraromp. “Our foundation is thus committed to creating a healthy society and sustainable world where everyone reaches their highest potential and engages with compassion towards one another.”
The launch was attended by senior executives from the corporate sector, representatives of the France and United States Embassies in Bangkok, and by colleagues from various regional malaria initiatives.
M2030 is a collaborative APLMA initiative, which includes the following current partners:
- DT Families Foundation.
- Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
- Yoma Strategic Holdings, listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Securities Exchange Trading Limited (SGX-ST), is a leading business corporation with real estate, agriculture, automotive, and luxury tourism businesses in Myanmar.
- Dentsu Aegis Network, a global media group that specialises in media, digital, and creative communications services that innovate the way brands are built.
- Tahir Foundation, a privately funded organization founded by Dato’ Sri Prof. Dr. Tahir, Chairman of Mayapada Group.
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a partnership that mobilizes and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programmes run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.
See www.m2030.org for further information.