Focusing efforts to eliminate malaria

May 2009


Following an opening ceremony attended by the PrimeMinister of Vanuatu, the Minister of Health, and the President of the Tafea province in the Solomon Islands, the AusAID supported Pacific Islands "Malaria Reference Group" (MRG) has just concluded its 4th meeting on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. The key focus of the MRG is to support Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands to eliminate malaria over the next 15 to 20 years. Attended by the eleven permanent MRG members, and supported by a number of other key partners (including AusAID, WHO, SPC and the PacMISC implementation team), the 4th MRG provided a timely opportunity for the Pacific community to consider malaria control strategies currently being implemented in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, and how to dramatically scale-up these efforts over the coming years.


Key meeting outcomes

The MRG:

  • Endorsed the malaria elimination strategies for Tafea province (Vanuatu) and Temotu province (Solomon Islands);
  • Set up a working group to recommend elimination specific "outcome" indicators to support intensified monitoring and evaluation efforts;
  • Identified areas of focus for PacMI support centre team members to further support programme implementation; and
  • Endorsed AusAID, SPC (the Principal Recipient of Global Fund financing for malaria in the western pacific) and WHO to harmonize financing, and implementation strategies, with the national programmes. Throughout discussions, there was considerable focus on supporting the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in efforts to respond to broader health systems strengthening needs, which inevitably impact national malaria control and elimination programme outcomes.


About the MRG

The MRG is a core component of AusAID's quality assurance strategy for the "Pacific Malaria Initiative" (PacMI), meeting once each year to review programme successes, and ongoing strategies to achieve malaria control and elimination status in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

Who is 'eliminating' or 'eradicating' malaria?

  • The World Health Organization's publications tell us that Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are working on common, although country specific strategies to eliminate malaria based on the following definitions:
  • Malaria elimination is: The interruption of local mosquito-borne malaria transmssion in a defined geographical area, creating a zero indidence of locally contracted cases. Imported cases will continue to occur and continued intervention measures are required.
  • Malaria eradication is: The permanent reduction to zero of the worldwide incidence of malaria infection.


SPC's key role in the elimination framework

SPC is is the "Principal Recipient" of funding channeled through to Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands National Vector Borne Disease Controle Programmes (NVBDCPs) from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). Commencing in 2009, the Global Fund Board has approved a Malaria proposal to continue to support malaria control and elimination efforts in both countries for a period of up to six years. This funding stream fully complements financing intended to be contributed over the same term by the National governments of both countries, and other key regional partners such as AusAID, and WHO. More information on this funding, and historical "Global Fund" grant performance to date, is available on our "Partners" page.



Other sources of information

For more information on the current status of malaria in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and throughout the world, go to:

  • WHO World Malaria Report 2008 - Solomon Islands Country Profile
  • WHO World Malaria Report 2008 - Vanuatu Country Profile
  • "Shrinking the Malaria Map: A Guide on Malaria Implementation for Policy Makers"