Malaria can be eradicated within 30 years, and the WHO should not shy away from this "goal of epic proportions," global health experts have said.
In a major report that contradicted the conclusions of a malaria review by the World Health Organization last month, 41 specialists said a future free of malaria, can be achieved as early as 2050.
To meet that target, however, governments, scientists and public health leaders need to inject more money and innovation into fighting the disease and the mosquitoes that carry it, the report said, something that will require "ambition, commitment and partnership like never before," reported Reuters.
Richard Feachem, director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, who co-chaired a review of malaria eradication commissioned by The Lancet medical journal, said: "For too long, malaria eradication has been a distant dream, but now we have evidence that malaria can and should be eradicated by 2050. We must challenge ourselves with ambitious targets and commit to the bold action needed to meet them."
The Lancet Commission's view comes a few weeks after the WHO published its own report on whether malaria can be wiped out, concluding that eradication cannot be achieved soon, and that setting unrealistic goals with unknown costs and endpoints could lead to "frustration and backlashes."
Malaria infected about 219 million people in 2017 and killed around 435,000 of them, with the vast majority being babies and children in the poorest parts of Africa.