New Delhi : A new tracker has been launched to help Commonwealth countries monitor progress towards halving malaria cases by 2023 and ultimately eradicating the disease by 2030. Developed by a group of malaria experts and the Commonwealth Secretariat, the tracker was due to be launched this week at the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases taking place on the margins of the now-postponed Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
The tracker supports a new report on progress towards the malaria commitment made by Commonwealth leaders in 2018 to halve malaria across endemic countries by 2023. This reduction would prevent millions of malaria cases and save thousands of lives. The report shows significant progress with nearly one-third of malaria-endemic Commonwealth countries on track to halve their case incidence and mortality rate from the disease by the end of 2019.
Despite country-level progress, as a grouping, the Commonwealth is currently not on track to reach the 50 per cent reduction target. The report calls on countries to accelerate action in the coming years to reach the historic target in the face of severe disruptions in malaria services caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Ahead of the launch, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Although Covid-19 has seized the world’s attention and resources, it is equally important for us to maintain focus on our pre-pandemic commitments and also sustain gains in malaria and other health conditions.