December 10-13, 2012
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Co-hosted with the United Arab Emirates University
The Malaria Elimination Group’s seventh meeting was held in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from December 10 – December 13, 2012 and was co-hosted with the UAE University. Meeting participants included senior representatives of malaria programs from countries including the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, the Islamic Republic of Iran,and the World Health Organization. Presentations and discussions at the meeting focused on malaria elimination in the Middle East, as well as strategies for active surveillance and new tools developed through operational research. The meeting also included a half-day study tour led by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi and highlighted Al Ain’s malaria vector control activities to prevent the reestablishment of malaria transmission. The meeting included presentations on global elimination efforts including: regional elimination updates, country presentations on progress and challenges in eliminating malaria, and operational research for elimination settings.
The MEG’s sixth meeting was held in Zanzibar, Tanzania from October 31 – November 3, 2011 and co-hosted with the Zanzibar Malaria Control Program. Sessions and discussions at the meeting focused on Zanzibar’s strategies with active surveillance and imported malaria - two issues that are relevant and important for malaria elimination. Meeting participants included senior representatives from 15 countries including the Zanzibar Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). The meeting was preceded by a one-day study tour of Zanzibar’s impressive malaria program which highlighted Zanzibar’s Malaria Epidemic Early Detection System (MEEDS). The agenda included presentations on global elimination efforts including: regional elimination updates, global financing for malaria, diagnostic tools for elimination, and operational research in surveillance for elimination settings.
The MEG’s fifth meeting was held in Huatulco, Mexico in November 2010 and was co-hosted with the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública and the Secretary of Health, Oaxaca. The meeting was preceded by a one-day study tour of Huatulco’s malaria program, one of the few areas in Mexico that still has malaria. The meeting focused on elimination efforts in Latin America with specific discussions on Mexico’s malaria program and the Salud Mesoamerica 2015 regional plan for malaria elimination. The agenda included presentations on global elimination efforts including: a recent malaria indicator survey conducted in Swaziland; success in the Eastern Mediterranean Region; development of the Elimination Scenario Planning (ESP) tool; and, case studies as means of documenting and disseminating experiences with elimination and prevention of re-introduction. The MEG also discussed the looming challenges of artemisinin resistance, the need to sustain resources in countries with low-endemic malaria, and the need for greater research and tools to eliminate P. vivax.
December 8-11, 2009
Co-hosted with China's Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (NIPD)
The MEG’s fourth meeting was held in Hainan Province, China in December 2009. The meeting was co-hosted with China’s Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (NIPD). The agenda focused on malaria elimination efforts in the Asia Pacific region and current technical issues with elimination, with a particular focus on challenges with P. vivax malaria. The meeting was preceded by a one-day study tour of Hainan Island’s impressive elimination program, which has reached near elimination through strong case management, pre-transmission season “Spring treatment”, vector control with bed nets, community engagement, and strong surveillance including the use of an internet-based reporting system.
The MEG’s third meeting was held in Brienz, Switzerland in April 2009 and was co-hosted with the Swiss Tropical Institute. The agenda included presentations and updates on recent malaria elimination regional initiatives and meetings, as well as work undertaken by global agencies and partner organizations. The second half of the meeting focused on future priorities for elimination and the role of the MEG and its partners, including methods and approaches for case studies, core indicators for elimination, and elimination-specific operational research needs. The meeting celebrated the completion and publication of the MEG’s two major contributions to elimination: Shrinking the Malaria Map: A Guide on Malaria Elimination for Policy Makers and its companion Shrinking the Malaria Map: A Prospectus on Malaria Elimination.
The MEG’s second meeting was held in Durban, South Africa and was co-hosted with the South African Medical Research Council (MRC). Regional guests attended, representing Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, and South Africa’s malaria programs. The meeting focused on updates from eight eliminating countries (Botswana, China, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Vanuatu, and Zanzibar) and three cross-border initiatives (Trans-Zambezi Malaria Initiative, Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative, and Thai/Cambodia Initiative). The meeting also included discussion and debate of the first draft of Shrinking the Malaria Map: A Prospectus on Malaria Elimination. The MEG agreed to supplement the Prospectus with a high-level policy digest, A Guide on Malaria Elimination for Policy Makers. The MEG established that a role of the Group should be to provide the malaria community with evidence from countries that have successfully eliminated malaria – either national elimination or sub-national elimination – and that conducting case studies and disseminating evidence-based elimination resources will be a priority. The meeting was preceded by an optional two-day study tour of the MRC’s work on the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative (LSDI) in KwaZulu-Natal, a highly successful, innovative regional program between the governments of South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique to control and reduce the prevalence of malaria along the countries’ shared borders.
The MEG held its inaugural meeting in March, 2008 in Santa Cruz, California. The two and a half day meeting explored the successes and failures of historical and recent elimination efforts, as well as the many gaps and challenges that countries face when pursuing elimination today. The Group discussed a 3-part strategy for achieving global eradication, and agreed on a strategic vision for “shrinking the map,” or spatially progressive elimination. The MEG agreed that a specific concern of the group will be the challenge of eliminating Plasmodium vivax. MEG members agreed to produce A Prospectus on Malaria Elimination as an initial resource for countries to use when making their decision on whether, when, and how to pursue elimination.