By Karen A. Goraleski, Executive Director
This is a "time for celebration, but also a time for reflection," said Kent Campbell, MD, MPH, of PATH--and a previous ASTMH president--at the June 5 Washington, D.C., briefing discussing the recently released external evaluation of the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI).
In partnership with PATH, PSI, World Vision, Malaria No More and Nothing But Nets, the session included reports from Jonathan Simon, MPH, DSc, lead investigator of the external evaluation and Professor, Boston University School of Public Health; Rear Admiral R. Timothy Ziemer, U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator, PMI; and Kent Campbell and Elena Olivi, PSI. The panel was moderated by David Bowen, PhD, CEO, Malaria No More.
The briefing relayed the impressive success of PMI as well as a call for caution as we approach what could be a turning point in fighting malaria. Several speakers referenced a time three decades ago when similar progress was achieved only to see support wane and funding evaporate, leaving malaria to come roaring back. The message was loud and clear: We cannot make this same mistake twice; funding must continue despite economic challenges. In fact, maintaining funding is the smartest financial move long-term.
Two key recommendations from the report were highlighted: 1) Expand PMI's financial resources, and 2) "Adapt or fail"--realize the successes the program has made and make needed changes to ensure continued success. Professor Simon reminded attendees that success is temporary and we must "stay the course to keep history from repeating itself."