Roll Back Malaria: Has It Been a Success?

April 24, 2005
With Africa Malaria Day tomorrow, there are two different perspectives on the success of the Roll Back Malaria alliance.An editorial in The Lancet (23 April 2005) lambasts Roll Back Malaria:
"5 years on from the Abuja Summit, it is clear that not only has RBM failed in its aims, but it may also have caused harm. The 2010 target to halve malaria deaths now looks unreachable, but urgent action is necessary to meet even the Millennium Development Goal deadline of 2015 for halting malaria's spread. Accumulating evidence, such as the studies published in today's Lancet, confirms that the right strategies applied in the right ways can have a profound impact on incidence and mortality for malaria. But unless RBM produces some demonstrable results to assuage the sceptical international community, the partnership risks losing all credibility--and squandering its hard-won political support. For any sort of progress to be made--indeed, simply to fix the current chaos--the RBM partnership needs strong leadership and a clear signal from all its partners that malaria is a priority. Without this commitment, the history of RBM will become a calamitous tale of missed opportunities, squandered funds, and wasted political will."
The Roll Back Malaria Partnership has issued a more upbeat press release:
"At a time when funding to fight malaria is still sorely lacking, a kaleidoscope of organizations, governments, businesses and celebrities in Africa, Europe, North America and Asia, united under the banner of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, have made unprecedented gains over the past year."


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.