Malaria eradication within a generation: ambitious, achievable, and necessary
The Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication was convened in October 2017 to consider the feasibility, affordability, and merit of malaria eradication, to inform global opinion, and to identify priority actions to achieve eradication.
The Commission’s report, published in September 2019, synthesizes existing evidence with new epidemiological and financial analyses to demonstrate that malaria eradication by 2050 is a bold but attainable and necessary goal. In the report—the first academic, peer-reviewed document of its kind—the Commission examines the major operational, biological, and financial challenges on the path to eradication and identifies key solutions that will enable the global malaria community to bend the curve and achieve a world free of malaria within a generation. The Commission also emphasizes the substantial social and economic benefits of malaria eradication, together with its mutually reinforcing relationship with universal health coverage and global health security.
The feasibility of eradication by 2050 is an assertion, based on the balance of evidence and on the probability that particular challenges will be overcome. It cannot be proven in a rigorous or formal sense, but the evidence presented in the Commission’s report supports this assertion. The evidence also makes clear that malaria will not be eradicated under a business as usual scenario and that specific actions are required at country, regional, and global levels to ensure that eradication is achieved by 2050.
These actions will be reinforced by a global commitment to pursue malaria eradication as a defined, time-bound goal. Malaria eradication is a goal of epic proportions that requires high ambition and vision, together with an exceptional degree of international cooperation. While eradication is achieved by elimination, country by country and region by region, a global commitment to eradicate by 2050 brings purpose, urgency, and dedication to the task, well beyond a policy of simply eliminating where possible. It provides a rationale for countries to eliminate, knowing that their neighbors and regions are also committed.
It spurs investment and innovation in high burden countries to accelerate the end game. And it motivates a prioritized and aggressive research agenda to rapidly develop and deploy the new tools required to achieve eradication within three decades. The Commission concludes that a time-bound commitment to eradicate is essential to bend the curve and create a world free of malaria by 2050.