Issue#02 - 08 Oct 2015 Subscribe to our newsletter »
APLMA Secretariat update

Dear friends and colleagues,

This has been a sobering period for many of us. The passing of Dr Alan Magill, Director of the Malaria Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was a huge shock to the malaria and broader public health community. We would like to pass our condolences to the family and friends of Alan, who was a good friend to many of us at the APLMA Secretariat. His dedication towards a malaria-free world will continue to inspire us all.

Over the past two months, the APLMA Secretariat has been busy working to develop and refine the Leaders Malaria Elimination Roadmap in collaboration with East Asia Summit member states, malaria-endemic Pacific nations and key regional stakeholders. To this end, with support from the Asian Development Bank, the Secretariat convened a ground-breaking meeting of senior officials from Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Health from across the region. The Senior Officials’ Meeting is a good example of the APLMA Secretariat pursuing our mandate to engage central agencies of government in the fight against malaria.

Since announcing the appointment of Dr Nafsiah Mboi in June as APLMA Envoy, the Secretariat has also welcomed Ms Azusa Sato to the APLMA Team as Technical Officer for Financing. The full team’s profiles can be viewed here.

With best wishes,

Dr Benjamin Rolfe
Executive Secretary
APLMA Secretariat

Progress on the Leaders’ Roadmap for an Asia Pacific Free of Malaria

Following the request by leaders at the 9th EAS that a plan be developed to achieve an Asia Pacific free of malaria by 2030, the APLMA Secretariat has been tasked by our Prime Minister Co-Chairs with developing an evidence-based and regionally-owned Elimination Roadmap. The Roadmap takes forward the work of the Task Forces in which many of you were involved. It has been developed in further consultation with experts, countries, technical agencies and others from across the region.

As part of this consultation, in July the APLMA Secretariat and Asian Development Bank convened a senior officials meeting to finalize the Roadmap. More than 50 delegates representing 15 East Asia Summit and Pacific nations from ministries of finance, foreign affairs and health, and six partner organizations participated in the meeting. The delegates provided clear guidance for improving the Roadmap and arrived at a consensus on the substantive content and agreed on next steps.

The resulting Roadmap aligns with the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and the WHO Strategy for Malaria Elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion 2015-2030. The intention of the Secretariat is that the APLMA Co-Chairs, will, at the discretion of Malaysia as EAS Chair, present the Roadmap for consideration as the 10th East Asia Summit to be held in November in Kuala Lumpur.

The Roadmap has been distributed to Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Health, Finance, and Planning for consultation prior to the EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting to be held in October. It symbolizes the unprecedented mandate to bring together central agencies that the malaria-free Asia Pacific goal requires.


Inaugural Myanmar Health Forum

In late July, the first Myanmar Health Forum took place in Nay Pyi Taw under the patronage of the Minister of Health. The meeting was themed Investing in health: The key to achieving a people-centred development. Around 700 delegates took part, representing all states and regions of Myanmar, as well as numerous multilateral and regional organizations. The international NGO community was well represented.

The APLMA Envoy, Dr Nafsiah Mboi, delivered the keynote address, sharing experiences of the Indonesian system of decentralization and extending outreach of health information and services to the underserved in various parts of the country. During the Forum, Dr Mboi also hosted a luncheon with 17 malaria activist organizations and Ministry of Health representatives in attendance. Dr Mboi was also able to interface with a number of ministers from other agencies of government, and discuss the challenges and opportunities for elimination in the Myanmar context.

ADB/APLMA Finance Experts Conference

ADB and APLMA convened a two-day consultation on Resource Mobilization for Malaria and Health Security in early July. It engaged 20 senior health and finance experts from government, private sector, and multilateral banks to discuss options for mobilizing increased financing for malaria and health security. Options for financing discussed included policy loans, results-based lending, blended financing, bundled financing, and insurance schemes. Outcomes were used to inform the financing strategy for the APLMA Roadmap, APLMA Secretariat’s 2016 work plan, and ADB's broader health agenda.

Working together to eliminate malaria in Myanmar

This high level meeting on Malaria in Myanmar, convened by the influential Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute for Global Health (IGH), and the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH), which took place in Washington DC, USA from 2 to 4 August, brought together a diverse group of delegates to discuss shared efforts to eliminate malaria.

Richard Moore, APLMA Senior Advisor, contributed APLMA’s regional perspective on malaria elimination including actions necessary for building and sustaining leadership, financing, and access to quality goods and services.

This meeting provided an opportunity for unprecedented dialogue between government and nongovernment officials, and external partners actively supporting scientific research, capacity building, and evolving malaria control activities in Myanmar. Meeting participants issued a Conference Statement.

Launch of technical brief on control and elimination of P. vivax

Following on from World Health Assembly adoption of the WHO Malaria Global Technical Strategy 2016 – 2030 in May, the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office recently launched a new Technical brief on control and elimination of Plasmodium vivax malaria. It provides information on the unique challenges of addressing the less fatal, high-burden form of the disease. The brief was developed with support from the Medicines for Malaria Venture. APLMA was represented at the launch by William Parr, Team Leader, Regional Financing for Malaria. APLMA Secretariat has subsequently consulted with a range of experts to better define its role in progressing the vivax elimination agenda in the region; we hope to make an announcement on this issue before the end of the year.

10th Meeting of the ASEAN Expert Group on Communicable Diseases (AEGCD)

Jeffery Smith, APLMA Team Leader for Advocacy and Partnerships, attended this meeting in Brunei Darussalam from 18 to 20 August 2015.  He presented an overview of APLMA and key components of APLMA Roadmap, including six priority actions, governance and accountability, and APLMA support for regional financing, regulatory and coordination activities.

The group discussed AEGCD’s malaria activity plan and potential collaboration with APLMA, including integration with the APLMA Roadmap.

Malaria Eradication Research Agenda ‘refresh’

The APLMA Secretariat took part in the malERA Refresh panel on Health Systems and Implementation Research, held in Boston in late June. The Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA) was published in 2011 and comprised a rigorous scientific consultative process to identify knowledge gaps and new tools that will be needed to eradicate malaria globally. The Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA) is currently leading the ‘MESA malERA Refresh’ process to update the malERA agenda. The MESA Secretariat is hosted by ISGlobal (Barcelona Institute of Global Health).

RBM Transition Committee meeting on governance

Dr Benjamin Rolfe, APLMA Executive Secretary, attended this meeting on governance arrangements for the future Roll Back Malaria Partnership, held in Geneva, Switzerland on 2 September. Together with delegates from ALMA, discussion focused on how future Partnership will be structured to meet global needs, and critically also the needs of the regional leadership initiatives, and the national fight including constituents such as APMEN.

Pacific Friends of the Global Fund parliamentarians’ study tour to Viet Nam and dinner

In July, Dr Benjamin Rolfe accompanied seven members of the Australian Parliament to witness HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programmes funded by the Global Fund in Viet Nam. The parliamentarians were able to see how funds are being used and to understand the challenges of managing these diseases in both rural and metropolitan settings.

Ben subsequently attended the Global Fund Parliamentarians’ dinner hosted by Bill Bowtell of Pacific Friends, in Canberra, Australia.  The event was joined by Dr Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations at The Global Fund. The function was also attended by senior officials from DFAT, Department of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office. This provided an opportunity for APLMA to continue engaging with a range of important constituencies, including the Global Fund, with productive discussions on areas for collaboration – particularly innovative financing.

Malaria elimination in Asia Pacific and Southern Africa: political leadership and sustained financing

A ministerial meeting was held during 30 September – 2 October, at Wilton Park, United Kingdom. The meeting was co-hosted by Sir Richard Feachem, Dr Richard Kamwi (Elimination 8 Ambassador and Former Minister of Health and Social Affairs of Namibia) and Dr S Subramaniam (Minister of Health of Malaysia).

It aimed to bring together high-level national leaders todiscuss what political and financial decisions can and should be made to achieve regional and country level elimination goals.

APLMA Envoy Dr Nafsiah Mboi, Special Advisor to the Envoy Karen Houston Smith and Dr Ben Rolfe joined the meeting and shared the draft APLMA Leaders Elimination Roadmap with participants.

View the Wilton Park statement on malaria elimination and acceleration towards a malaria-free world, here.

Ongoing Activities

In addition to a large body of work associated with building support and understanding for the Roadmap ahead of November’s East Asia Summit, the Secretariat is also working on a number of important work streams on regional financing, access to quality medicines and services, and regional governance for elimination. We look forward to providing an update on these and other issues in November. In the interim, if you have any questions on anything contained in this short briefing, please do reach out to the Secretariat Team, at info[at] We also invite you to follow us on Twitter and Facebook





Upcoming Events

- East Asia Summit, Senior Officials Meeting: 9 October, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- APMEN Advisory Board meeting: 14 October, Bangkok, Thailand
- WHO Western Pacific Regional Committee meeting: 12–16 October, Guam, USA
- East Asia Summit: 22 November, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance Secretariat
6 ADB Avenue Mandaluyong City 1550 Philippines
Tel (+632) 632-4444 ext 70116

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