News Releases

Thai Foundation Partners with Global Fund to Eliminate Drug-Resistant Malaria in Greater Mekong

25 April 2019

GENEVA – The Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation today became the first private sector partner to support the Global Fund’s largest regional initiative to eliminate drug-resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong.

With a contribution of US$2 million over two years, the Thai-based private family foundation will support the Global Fund’s Regional Artemisinin resistance Initiative (RAI). RAI was launched in 2014 to counter the growing threat of drug-resistant malaria in Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam with the aim of eliminating the most dangerous strain of the disease by 2025. The contribution will increase the detection of malaria cases and surveillance of hard-to-reach, mobile and migrant populations living along the Thai border.

“Drug resistance in the Greater Mekong threatens to become a devastating setback for the region’s malaria elimination efforts, and risks becoming a major shock to health security if it goes global,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “I hope that the Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation’s investment to help tackle drug-resistant malaria will inspire other private sector partners in the region to step up the fight.”

The emergence of drug resistance means that the goal of decreasing the number of malaria cases and treating people when they become infected is not enough. The only solution is elimination, which requires finding and treating all cases. Otherwise any remaining “human reservoir” of the parasite could be enough to transmit the disease.

RAI identifies where the hotspots are and invests in strengthening health centers with benefits beyond malaria prevention. The initiative also supports a network of village and mobile malaria workers to reach the most vulnerable in villages and forests, far removed from health services, with malaria prevention tools – mosquito nets, malaria tests and preventive treatment.

With the foundation’s grant, non-governmental organizations working with migrants will be able to increase detection of malaria cases, strengthen the monitoring of resistance to malaria medicines in the border provinces, and expand the distribution of prevention and treatment of malaria in the most vulnerable populations – pregnant women and children – in Tak province.

“Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation is delighted to partner with the Global Fund to support RAI’s efforts in eliminating drug-resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong,” said Dr. Wit Soontaranun, President of the Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation. “Our support will help health workers on the frontlines keep track of malaria infections in three hotspot areas along Thailand’s borders with Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar.”

In providing this support, Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation is working with the Global Fund, partners, and regional leaders to establish Indo China Health Partnerships to mobilize resources to tackle malaria and other threats to health and well-being, prioritizing urgent needs.

Today’s partnership announcement was made during an event on private sector leadership to end malaria, co-hosted by the Global Fund, the World Economic Forum and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) as part of World Malaria Week in Bangkok.

About the Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation: Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation (DTCF) is an international nonprofit organization with the founding principle ‘Respect for People and Planet’. DTCF works to bring about a healthy society and sustainable world by providing infrastructure, research, strategy, technology, and financial support to empower people and organizations to reach their fullest potential.

About the Global Fund: The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. As a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries. By challenging barriers and embracing innovative approaches, we are working together to better serve people affected by the diseases. France will convene the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment pledging conference on 10 October 2019. The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion – including US$1 billion from the private sector – for the next three years. The funds will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.