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[e-drug] RBM reply to Experts' letter on draft malaria strategy

E-drug: RBM reply to Experts' letter on draft malaria strategy
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Dear Colleagues,

SUBJECT: THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW

Thank you for your letter of 28 November 2003 in which you
express your concern about the contents of the draft Roll Back
Malaria (RBM) Strategic Orientations 2004-2008, issued for a
global consultation at the request of the RBM Partnership Board.
The consultation period ended last week. Henceforth, the
Partnership Secretariat is now in the process of consolidating the
feedback received from RBM partners, including yours, into a
revised document.

I appreciate and share your views on the importance of a balance
between prevention and case management for malaria control,
and on the need for timely access to efficacious drugs, particularly
artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACTs). We all remain fully
committed to the common objective of ensuring rapid access to
ACTs. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not wavered
from its official policy on malaria treatment and the use of ACTs. A
WHO position note on this subject has been posted on the RBM
web site (www.rbm.who.int) in order to ensure clarity on the
course of action recommended by this lead RBM Partner.

The RBM Partnership is supporting mechanisms led by WHO and
other Partners to improve access to ACTs through a range of
activities that include increasing the number of recognized
manufacturers of ACTs through prequalification processes, and
supporting drug policy change and implementation at country
level. An expert consultation meeting on the financing and
procurement of ACTs was held under the auspices of the RBM
Partnership in September 2003. The key actions to promote
access to high-quality and affordable ACTs in the near future
outlined by this meeting have been adopted by the Partnership
Board. One of the immediate follow-up activities to this meeting is
the establishment of a coordinating mechanism that will reinforce
our commitment to accelerating access to ACTs, rapid diagnostic
tests and other antimalarial products.

The effort taken by all of you to bring your shared concerns to our
attention is very much welcomed. I particularly appreciate the
importance you have placed on the need to re-affirm commitment
to the evidence-based approaches that the RBM initiative has
promoted during the past five years. Please rest assured that your
expressed concerns will be communicated to the RBM Partnership
Board and taken into full account in the revised Strategic
Orientations.  
     
Yours faithfully,

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré
Acting Executive Secretary
Roll Back Malaria Partnership

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