The war against malaria has racked up some significant successes over the past half century. The testing of a new vaccine and the possibility of genetically modifying malaria-carrying mosquitoes to prevent them from reproducing have some people hoping we will soon be able to eliminate the disease. That’s likely still a long way off. It needn’t be, though, if we embrace a powerful but untapped resource for fighting malaria: the communities affected by it.
“What will really move malaria control forward is going to be the work by the unsung heroes at the community level and in district health facilities. That’s where the battle will be won or lost,” said Robert Newman, the former director of the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Program.