A meeting has been co-hosted by Vietnam and Australia on World Malaria Day (April 25) in Geneva, Switzerland to draw international attention to their joint initiative on combating malaria in the Asian Pacific Ocean Region.

The initiative was first introduced and hailed at the East Asia Summit (EAS) after receiving support from Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott.

The Geneva event saw the participation of some 20 health care delegations from the region and the Organisation of Economic Cooperation Development (OECD). Experts from the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) were also in attendance, among others.

During the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Geneva Nguyen Trung Thanh made clear the importance of cooperation among nations in fighting malaria.

He called for more active participation from Asian Pacific nations, WHO experts, and sponsors in preventing high risks at the border areas of several nations in the region.

Meanwhile, the Australian Ambassador reviewed the malaria situation in the region, briefed participants on the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Aliance (APLMA) and highlighted Sri Lanka’s successful experience in fighting the disease.

Participants discussed the elimination of malaria in the Mekong River Subregion as an urgent priority of the health sector in the Asia Pacific region.

The regional objective to be malaria-free by 2030 has been approved at the 9 th EAS in Myanmar.-VNA