Malaria elimination transmission and costing in the Asia-Pacific: a multi-species dynamic transmission model
Silal SP., Shretta R., Celhay OJ., Gran Mercado CE., Saralamba S., Maude RJ., White LJ.
Background: The Asia-Pacific region has made significant progress in combatting malaria since 2000 and a regional goal for a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030 has been recognised at the highest levels. External financing has recently plateaued and with competing health risks, countries face the risk of withdrawal of funding as malaria is perceived as less of a threat. An investment case was developed to provide economic evidence to inform policy and increase sustainable financing. Methods: A dynamic epidemiological-economic model was developed to project rates of decline to elimination by 2030 and determine the costs for elimination in the Asia-Pacific region. The compartmental model was used to capture the dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria for the 22 countries in the region in a metapopulation framework. This paper presents the model development and epidemiological results of the simulation exercise. Results: The model predicted that all 22 countries could achieve Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax elimination by 2030, with the People’s Democratic Republic of China, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea predicted to do so without scaling up current interventions. Elimination was predicted to be possible in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam through an increase in long-lasting insecticidal nets (and/or indoor residual spraying) and health system strengthening, and in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India and Thailand with the addition of innovations in drug therapy and vector control. Elimination was predicted to occur by 2030 in all other countries only through the addition of mass drug administration to scale-up and/or innovative activities. Conclusions: This study predicts that it is possible to have a malaria-free region by 2030. When computed into benefits and costs, the investment case can be used to advocate for sustained financing to realise the goal of malaria elimination in Asia-Pacific by 2030.