“There is absolutely no biological or medical reason for anyone to die of malaria,” stated Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, when opening the eighth edition of the “Science of Eradication: Malaria” course, which took place at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona, June 9-14.
“Malaria is a completely treatable disease, and we cannot accept that it causes more than 400,000 deaths every year," underlined Alonso, during the ‘Ned Hayes’ opening lecture of this leadership course.
The annual “Science of Eradication: Malaria” course is jointly organised by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)-University of Barcelona, Harvard University and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), with the aim of inspiring the future generation of malaria leaders by providing a multidisciplinary perspective on this deadly disease.
This year, the course brought together 51 participants including scientists, national malaria control program administrators, representatives of international organizations and both the public and private sector. The faculty consisted of 33 experts from different disciplines that discussed all aspects related to malaria control and elimination, from parasite and vector biology, diagnostics, drugs, vector control tools, and vaccines, to health systems and community and political engagement, among others. Through the specific case studies, participants could learn more about the components to be included in national malaria control and elimination strategies.
“The course aims to bring together current and future leaders in malaria and public health to discuss the innovation and systems changes needed for long-term success,” says Nuria Casamitjana, director of Training and Education at ISGlobal. Regina Rabinovich, director of ISGlobal’s Malaria Elimination Initiative, highlighted that ending malaria is a challenge that needs to be tackled by the malaria community as a whole, including endemic countries, international organizations, researchers, NGOs and funding bodies.
Next year, the course will take place in Basel, Switzerland.