In the lead-up to next month’s inaugural Malaria World Congress (MWC2018) in Melbourne, Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC has spoken of his optimism for the elimination and eventual eradication of malaria, describing the momentum as unstoppable.
Professor Crabb credits the collective effort of champions of the cause – from the World Health Organization, through to multilateral groups such as the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria, and Gates Foundation – for their leading roles.
“Together these have been fundamental in driving a momentum toward malaria elimination, a political momentum that we haven’t seen the likes of before … a momentum now that I think is unstoppable,” Professor Crabb said.
“It’s seen in the last decade malaria reduced to around half of what it was before, so the trajectory is right, the building blocks are right.
“If we can maintain that momentum – and the next half will be harder than the first half – malaria can be eliminated from many countries in the world and one day, I believe, it can be eradicated.”
Professor Crabb also paid tribute Melbourne’s outstanding track record as a hub for groundbreaking research in malaria, and to Sir Gustav Nossal, whom he credits for driving this research agenda.
“Melbourne … doesn’t have malaria, yet has many, many people who work to combat malaria, and the legacy of Melbourne and Australia’s efforts in malaria is down to … Sir Gustav Nossal,” Professor Crabb said.
“Gus, working at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute as the Director at the time, championed this direction.
“Most of Australia’s capacity in malaria flows in some way, shape, or form from the tremendous leadership of Sir Gustav Nossal.”
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