18 Heads of Government Celebrate a Successful 14th East Asia Summit in Bangkok, 4 November 2019 © ASEAN
While global progress against malaria has stalled, Asia is making unprecedented gains. Once plagued by the disease, the Greater Mekong region has seen a 75% reduction in cases and 90% cut in deaths since 2012. Incredibly, Myanmar has more than halved cases in just two years, and India has seen a near 70% decline over just three.
Whilst the disease still kills one child every two minutes globally, many countries in Asia are truly reaching the endgame; zero deaths in Cambodia, zero human cases in Malaysia, only six indigenous cases in Bhutan and just a handful in Timor-Leste. As the disease becomes less visible, we must ensure countries stay the course to end malaria by 2030.
The Eighteen leaders at Monday’s East Asia Summit in Thailand pledged just that. In the Chairman’s statement released last night, heads of government of all ASEAN nations, plus 8 more including India and China ‘’reiterated our commitment to the goal of a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030 and acknowledged ongoing efforts in the implementation of the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap.’’
In a bid to ensure the region remains on track they further ‘’requested for a 5-year report on the progress made in the region towards 2030 to be submitted to the EAS in 2020.’’
This builds on a similar resolution from the region’s foreign ministers released in August. Their resolve sends a powerful message to ministers of Health, Finance and Foreign Affairs that the region is deadly serious about this deadly disease. As of this morning, the Singapore based Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance set to work commissioning the review. We look forward to engaging with all those working to eliminate this disease ahead of the 15th Summit in Viet Nam next year.
 9th EAS Foreign Ministers Meeting in 2nd August 2019: The Ministers recalled their commitment to the goal of an Asia-Pacific free of malaria by 2030, and acknowledged ongoing efforts to implement proposed actions in the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap, including the preparation of a 5-year progress report to the Leaders in 2020.”