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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

Can we achieve global eradication of malaria?

Dr Ingrid Chen, Malaria Eradication Research Lead for the MEI.

Dr Ingrid Chen, Malaria Eradication Research Lead for the MEI.

03 August 2017
Blog | Seminar review


A malaria-free world is no small aspiration. When eradication was first proposed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2007, this audacious goal was met with a large degree of trepidation and uncertainty by the global malaria community. However, this vision of ending malaria rallied unprecedented levels of commitment and resources for its achievement.1 By providing leadership on shrinking the malaria map, and supporting the development of innovative tools and partnerships, the UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) has helped usher a paradigm shift to position malaria elimination – and now, eradication – at the forefront of global health and development agendas.


Vector control, drug-based strategies, high-risk populations, surveillance, and targeting are key pillars for the MEI’s research and programmes. These key topics formed the starting point for the seminar by Dr Ingrid Chen, Malaria Eradication Research Lead for the MEI. Dr Chen discussed a number of tools developed by the MEI, as well as their involvement in a number of clinical trials, and their economic, financing, and advocacy work. The breadth and depth of work conducted by the MEI encompasses a large portfolio of projects and demonstrates the progress made over the last ten years, highlighting the MEI’s holistic approach, partnership with National Malaria Control Programmes, and commitment to a malaria-free world.

Elimination and eradication

One of most exciting aims of the MEI is to see malaria eliminated by 2020 in areas such as Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland, as well as Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Nepal, South Korea, and Timor East. Alongside a large group of collaborators and sponsors, the MEI focuses on distinct goals across national, regional, and global levels to accelerate progress toward elimination and eradication of malaria.

An important distinction between elimination and eradication:

The WHO Malaria Factsheet2 defines elimination as the ‘…Interruption of local transmission of a specified malaria parasite species in a defined geographical area as a result of deliberate activities. Continued measures are required to prevent re-establishment of transmission’.

Eradication is defined as the ‘…permanent reduction to zero of the worldwide incidence of malaria infection caused by human malaria parasites as a result of deliberate activities. Interventions are no longer required once eradication has been achieved’.

Missed the seminar?

If you missed Dr Chen’s seminar you can watch it here, or you can read more about the MEI here.

Don’t forget to keep checking our website for the latest news and upcoming events from the Malaria Centre.

References and resources

1. Shown below are the three seminal documents in 2015 that mapped the requirements for the following 15 years:

a. WHO Global Technical Strategy:

b. RBM Action and Investment against Malaria:

c. Aspiration to Action:

2. WHO Media Centre, Malaria Factsheet. Last accessed July 2017.