The elimination of malaria in the Asia Pacific (AP) will only be possible with access to vector control (VC) tools that effectively reduce transmission. Social and environmental factors largely influence malaria transmission patterns; this underscores the importance of VC tools that are adapted to, and address context-specific challenges. The AP has its own set of challenges including insecticide resistance and the specific behaviour patterns of at-risk populations that limit the applicability of current VC tools and which call for new, better adapted and innovative VC tools.
At a joint APLMA and Unitaid meeting in Bangkok in January 2018, participants identified the need for a coordinated and cross-sectoral approach to improving access to innovative VC tools. A platform - Innovation and Access for Vector Control in Asia-Pacific - was proposed in consultation with APMEN, ministries of health, national regulators, global health development partners, academia, as well as industry and R&D centres.
With a policy and regulatory focus, the platform will contribute to both stimulating R&D and supporting the accelerated market entry of new innovations with a goal of ensuring appropriate VC tools are deployed in support of malaria elimination by 2030 in the AP region. The platform will complement the work of the APMEN by bridging technical recommendations with leadership influence and policy solutions. As a cross-sectoral forum, it will aim to shape policy directions as well regulatory decisions on the registration of VC tools in the AP region.
The proposed event at the Malaria World Congress in Australia includes the formal launch of the platform. This will be an opportunity to introduce this platform to the malaria community, and will include a moderated policy dialogue around how best to leverage the platform to achieve a supportive policy and regulatory environment for new vector control tools in AP.