Policy & Global Development, Malaria Elimination

Experts Discuss the Advances in the Fight Against Malaria

Central America is identified as a priority area where decisive action could completely eradicate malaria


To celebrate World Malaria Day, ISGlobal and the Ramon Areces Foundation organised a symposium in Madrid on the subject of the Spanish Contribution to the Fight Against Malaria and the Elimination Effort. This event was attended by nearly 100 participants from all over the world, including international experts in the field of malaria, government representatives from Spain and Latin American countries as well as representatives of international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Carlos Slim Institute of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Throughout the day, the reports presented by experts from different continents outlined the considerable progress that has been made in controlling malaria and even suggested that recent advances have once again put the idea of eradicating malaria completely in some parts of the world back on the agenda. Hoda Atta, regional malaria advisor at the WHO's Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, reported that several countries in that region, including Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, have been certified malaria-free in the past decade. Efforts are currently focused on Central America, the region now identified as a priority area for the elimination of the disease.

Presentations and discussions at the symposium also highlighted the extraordinary possibilities of public-private partnerships for promoting innovation and treatment options, and facilitating access to new vaccines and drugs. Roberto Tapia, director of the Carlos Slim Institute of Health, presented Salud Mesoamerica 2015, an initiative that seeks to reduce the gaps in health equity in the region. Francesca Boldrini, the head of Global Health and Advocacy in Europe for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, chose to emphasize the point that "philanthropy can never be a substitute for government action". In the closing speech, Gonzalo Robles, the Spanish General Secretary for Cooperation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation) made  it clear that "education and health would be key areas in the future plans of Spanish cooperation".

Watch the event on video

The Malaria Eradication Agenda    

Pedro Alonso, Director, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) 

Malaria in the World: Control and Eradication

Hoda Atta Malaria Regional Advisor, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt

Myriam Álvarez-Herrera, Caucaseco Scientific Research Centre, Colombia

Eusebio Macete, Director, Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), Mozambique

Central America: Progress and Challenges in the Eradication of Malaria

Keith Carter, Malaria Regional Adviser, Pan American Health Organization, PAHO

Carlos Saénz Torres, General Director, Public Health Vigilance, Ministry of Health, Nicaragua

Engels Ilich Bánegas, Chief, Malaria National Program, Ministry of Health, Honduras

Ing. José Rubén Gómez, Director, CHF Honduras

Public and Private Commitment to the Fight Against Malaria

D. Francesca Boldrini, Head of Public Health & Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Europe

Roberto Tapia, Director of the Carlos Slim Institute of Health

Rolando Hernández, Executive Secretary, Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA)

Emma Margarita Iriarte, Coordinadora General Iniciativa Salud Mesoamérica 2015, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo

Closing Session: Latin American–Spanish Relations and the Agenda for Cooperation in Health

Enrique V. Iglesias, General Secretary  of Latin America, SEGIB

Gonzalo Robles, General Secretary for Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Spain

Learn more

Spain's leadership crucial in advances against malaria

World Malaria Day 2012: Photo album of the symposium "The Spanish Contribution to the Fight against Malaria and the Elimination Effort"

Salud Mesoamérica 2015 initiative