In recent years malaria initiatives have increasingly shifted from malaria control to a focus on achieving malaria elimination in the Southeast Asia region. However, this region experiences unique challenges in this transition due to its distinctive malaria ecosystem (mainly related to forests) and high volume of population movement (both within and between countries). These bioenvironmental factors increase the exposure of populations at higher risk due to their close association with forest, and contributes to outdoor and residual transmission. Given that this region has also historically been the source of resistance to anti-malarial drugs, the potential spread of artemisinin resistance via global transportation routes would pose a major threat to malaria control and elimination efforts worldwide. In addition, other factors also hinder the malaria elimination goal such as importation of parasite infection, uncontrolled monkey malaria (Plasmodium knowlesi), or the fact that many countries in this region experience mixed infections where P. vivax becomes a more predominant species as overall malaria transmission decreases. This chapter addresses these challenges in detail and provide recommendations and key priorities to overcome these obstacles to accelerate efforts for achieving malaria elimination.
Part of the book: Towards Malaria Elimination