ACTMalaria marked its 20th Founding Anniversary last November 24, 2016 with the theme "Investment in the Malaria Workforce: Investment in Malaria Elimination" in Fontana Leisure and Villas in Clark, Pampanga. The event was hosted by the Department of Health-Philippines which the latter celebrates The Philippine Malaria Awareness Month. It was culminated by a Gala Night attended by the participants from the member countries.
Its been two decades that the training network magnifies its focus on the capacity building of the human resources of the national malaria control programme of the member countries. The event was attended by some alumni that contributed excellent results and have performed active research, innovators, and those that were promoted in higher position. They were distinguished as prime movers of their respective program. The roster of ACTMalaria alumni mostly holds key position and lead some innovations that have raised the bar higher than what was expected of them. These group of health workforce around the region lead and guide the national programme from the control stage, to pre-elimination and now that most of them were in the elimination stage.
A Malaria Elimination Forum was held for participants to share experiences and best practices related to malaria workforce development. The presenter from some member countries and partners brought in innovations in the implementation of malaria control and elimination that have contributed in the area of the malaria workforce development in the country and in the region.
During the forum, the presenters showed how their respective program focused on the regional training activities that they have been involved in the past 10 years and the key areas which their programs have invested to get them to where they are now. The forum was divided into three parts which was moderated separately by Dr Thar Tun Kyaw (Myanmar), Dr Bouasy Hongvanthong (Lao PDR) and Prof Ho Dinh Trung (Vietnam). After each part, a reaction was given by Dr Zhang Zaixing (WPRO), Ms Thada Bornstein (Senior Consultant) and Dr Sunil Mehra (Health Partners International). Ms Thada emphasized the need to sustain the program to the path of elimination through transferring training technology at the subnational level as they were several cases on movement of designation as affected politically. Capacity building of frontiers in the field is as important as strengthening those that are in the top officials as they are the one managing the actual cases and the community. Dr Sunil Mehra calls on the integration and strengthening of health systems as they were some that does not provide long-term solution of the problem at hand.
The network calibrated its focus now in gearing the human resource in strengthening its capacity building to the elimination stage until the countries achieved its goal as a malaria free country.
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