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Malaria Expert Challenges The World To Eradicate The Disease
Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, a former leader on malaria eradication with the World Health Organization and co-author of a recent report published in The Lancet, says we are making progress on malaria eradication as a result of four key interventions being scaled up in endemic countries:
Bed nets and other efforts to protect people from mosquito bites
Rapid diagnosis leads to earlier treatment and fewer deaths
More effective treatments have been developed and implemented
Environmental controls to reduce mosquito breeding places
Reaching full eradication will require not only continuing to scale these interventions but also adding additional innovation, including the need for an effective vaccination.
Interview with Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, the Former Assistant Director General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization; Co-Chair; The Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication; Former Board Chair, RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
The following is the pre-interview with Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
We’ll be discussing the Report of the Lancet Commision on Malaria Eradication with Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho.
How are you personally affected by malaria?
I come from a continent that is highly affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases and other public health urgencies; and these have been major focus areas of my public health and global health career for more than 35 years. I have unwavering commitment and resolve to end these scourges. I bring a multi-faceted perspective to the fight to end these diseases; and to global health leadership.
What is your take on malaria?
Malaria, one of the most ancient and deadly diseases of humankind, can and should be eradicated for good, within our generation.
Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho. Photo Credit: Laurent Egli
Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho’s bio:
Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho has more than 35 years’ experience in key senior leadership positions in health, public health, global health and international cooperation. She served as the World Health Organisation’s Assistant Director General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases until her retirement on 31 December 2015. She led the World Health Organisation’s work in prevention, control, impact-mitigation, technical support to countries; and global partnerships to combat these diseases, thus contributing to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly MDG6. Her vision and leadership also ensured effective transition of the World Health Organisation’s MDG6 work to the SDG framework. https://www.who.int/about/structure/organigram/htm/progress-hiv-tb-malaria-ntd/en/
Previously she deputised in the same position and concurrently directed the World Health Organisation’s Office for Global Fund Partnership and Technical Cooperation, including technical support to countries, that facilitated eligible countries’ access and utilisation of more than 10 billion USD from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and contribute to health systems strengthening.
Earlier Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho served as Director of the World Health Organisation’s HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections Programme and co-founder of the World Health Organisation’s 3by5 Initiative that steered access and expansion of AIDS treatment to all affected populations worldwide, particularly in resource limited settings.
Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho served as Board Chair of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria from 2016 to 2019. She is the Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication; Member of the Global Health Group Advisory Board; and has served as a member of various international boards, including the Board of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; “Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases” Board; WHO/UNICEF-UNDP-World Bank Special Programme for research and training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) Board; UNITAID Board and UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board; Adventures in Health, Education and Agricultural Development International Board; and Tanzania National Water Authority Board.
Prior to joining WHO, Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho was Director General of the Commonwealth Regional Health Community Secretariat for East, Central and Southern Africa (now known as the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community Secretariat), where she spearheaded policies and mobilised political commitment, resources and partnerships to tackle the Region’s public health priorities.
She also served as the Head of the University of Dar-es-salaam’s Department of Community Health; Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics & Child Health and Community Health; Chief Public Health Adviser to the Ministry of Health of Tanzania; and International Monitor of multi-country clinical trials for malaria drugs and vaccines on behalf WHO/TDR. She has also served as a senior consultant for various international organisations.
Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho has a Doctor of Medicine (MD) Degree from the University of Dar-es-salaam (UDSM), where she was also awarded the East Africa Academy Award and Muhimbili Medical Centre (MMC) Awards for Best MD Student. She has a Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree from Tulane University, New Orleans Louisiana, where she also completed the Hubert H. Humphrey North-South Fellowship (Humphrey Fellows are selected based on their potential for leadership and their commitment to public service). She has a Master of Medicine (M.MED) Degree in Paediatrics and Child Health from the University of Dar-es-salaam, where she was also awarded the UDSM and MMC Awards for best M.MED Student.
Dr. Mpanju-Shumbusho has won various leadership, humanitarian and academic awards, including the AHEAD Humanitarian Award; and has published widely. Some of her work was recently profiled in the Lancet https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30894-8
As a native of a continent that is highly affected by HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases and other public health urgencies, along with her unwavering commitment and resolve to end these scourges, Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho brings a multi-faceted perspective, to global health leadership and the fight to end these diseases.
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