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Leadership Interviews

Looking back and looking forward in the global response to an ancient disease

Never before has the fight against malaria enjoyed such a groundswell of political and financial support. Since the launch of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership in 1998, advocates have succeeded in placing malaria high on political and development agendas; heads of state, business leaders, activists and artists have been championing malaria as their cause; new and innovative financing mechanisms have been created; and international funding against the disease has increased twenty-fold. With renewed political will and greater financial resources, several countries in sub-Saharan Africa have scaled up their coverage of malaria-control interventions, and have slashed numbers of malaria cases and deaths in just a matter of a few years.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership Secretariat is publishing interviews with its partners. How has the international community turned the tide against an ancient disease? How do we ensure continued momentum against a killer that is stalling Africa's human and economic development, especially in the face of impending global environmental and economic crises? These conversations reveal the vision and celebrate the achievements of those who, working in a multitude of different capacities from all parts of the globe, have made a difference against one of the world's major infectious diseases.

'Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right', said a famous turn-of-the-century business magnate. These interviews are meant not only to inform, but also to inspire and spark further action. The more than ten years of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership have shown that bold vision is key to success, and that malaria control provides rapid returns upon investment. The international community simply needs to decide, and this biblical scourge can be eliminated as a public health threat once and for all.