RBM has interviewed the UN Special Envoy for malaria, Raymond Chambers and asked, “What needs to happen now so that Roll Back Malaria targets can be reached by 2010?” He responded, “That gives us a thousand days. We have to get all of our people working in the fields in cooperation with the local ministries of health; we’ve got to work with the manufacturers of the commodities for things like bed nets and medication and get them to have a schedule of delivery; we’ve got to accelerate some of the funding so that we can meet the requirements of the manufacturers of the commodities; and we’ve got to get everybody to buy into one plan. We’ve also got to ensure that plan is most effectively implemented and executed.”
As we have reported, countries like Ghana, Mali and Nigeria have a ways to go to achieve the 2005 targets of 60% coverage with ITNs, IPTp and appropriate case management with ACTs, let alone reach 80% or more. While all three countries have received Global Fund Grants, they have concentrated in large part on the public sector for service provision, and although they thereby reach their GFATM targets, they have problems achieving overall coverage goals.
Mr. Chambers is right, every partner – public, private and non-governmental, as well as the community – must come on board if 2010 targets are to be achieved. Often there is a reluctance on the part of the public sector, who often monopolize GFATM and other donor support, to ignore or look down on the private sector, especially the informal private sector such as medicine sellers. In rescuing its GFATM Round 4 grant, Nigeria came to the realization that the private sector is crucial and for Phase 2 selected an additional Principal Recipient to focus on this neglected component of malaria control.
Scale up to reach 2010 will be a challenge when we have yet to reach 2005 goals. We might have a chance if all sectors are involved in the partnership.